Some fictional Darwinianism, and a promise I didnt actually make to you July 12, 2011Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
Tags: characterisation, creative writing, Matt Farmer, Matthew Farmer, procrastination, writer, writing, writing habit
To start with, I was sent this awesome link – On the origins of the novel species I read that and think about my characters, did they have a genesis from something? And, I don’t think they do. Sure, I put elements of people I know into my characters, we all do. The only way you can make a character feel alive is if you give it some life that you know. I may unconsciously be putting shades of my primary and high school bullies into the bad guys in my story, and my child hood heroes into the good guys. I may put shades of girls and boys I know into the main characters, or those walk-on parts which are like a Rob Schneider cameo role.
I know I have strongly based characters off people I know. I have a friend in my sci-fi story, but she doesn’t know. And I am liberally sprinkling my Steam Punk verse with people I know. But I am telling them, which they are excited about…
But reading about authors say this character is based on such and such, something which hit so hard and so deep into their psyche? I wonder if I will write that one awesome book which shakes the hard cover foundations and has an amazing character with depth and character, flaws and tragedy, and can say – yes, this is based off the old Greek man who always called me ‘boss’ when I ordered a quarter chicken and chips, every SUnday lunch time when I was hung over.
Now, that may sound sarcastic and taking the piss, and sorry to those who think I am being disrespectful. I am amazed and have total respect and awes for those authors who can draw so much from their past, and fill in a character full to the brim with life. But I’d just like to say that I now have a character who can be selling road side roadkill burgers and stray-cat sausage on a stick. He now has an accent, a way he speaks to everyone, how he is welcoming and can remember you and your favorite order if you are a regular.
Did I just throw out a self-fulfilling prophecy? I don’t know…
I had a plan on Wednesday. I was going to come here, into my blog and announce – I WILL FINISH MY NOVEL THIS WEEKEND! My football team had a bye and wasn’t playing. The only commitments I had were Friday night mulled wine and watching The Wire (showing my friends the AWESOME that is), and I had Roller Derby commitments on Saturday night. The rest of the weekend was free. So, being into the last chapter I was going to say HA! I will finish! See what happens when I make a promise to the world, to the Universe. When I know people are watching and making sure I keep my end of the bargain.
But, my week went south. Things happened, the kind of things which make you doubt yourself, what you do, who you are. One of those things, you know? So I thought- nope, I dont feel like promising the Universe I will finish something when I feel this bad. Even if I was on perfect shiny happy street, I knew making that commitment would put a bit of pressure on me. But when there are storm clouds on shiny street? No way would I have been able to hit that. And then I would compound by going- wah! I made promise and I couldn’t keep it!
So, instead I wrote anyway. I checked out how I could go, in this place my mind was at. Tried a bit of writing on Saturday. Had a nanna nap and then went out to Derby.
Wrote on Sunday. I got 8 maybe 10 pages done? Wrote a load of dialogue, got bored, killed some people, had a fire fight and then SOMETHING HAPPENED… no, not to me, in the book, and I am about to do a great reveal.
But, I wrote. Which is the important thing.
And tomorrow night I am going to write again.
And on Wednesday morning before work I am going to write again.
But not this weekend. Friday night is football, Saturday is a wedding and Sunday is a tarot catch up.
But I have tomorrow night.