Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Out of the Shadows

(OooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo mysterious!)

SOOO after getting back from Venice, I started thinking about my story. How I'd been 'done' editing. Ha. Haha. Ha. HA.


That's okay though, because honestly I think I die a little everytime I actually finish something. And yeah, it's not ready to be read by anyone with less of a bias than my mother. Seriously, I contemplated sending it over to my extended-family for like five seconds before I realized I'M NOT READY!


I started thinking (last night!) about characters, and how they are oh-so mysterious. (Does anyone else think purple is the most mysterious-est color?) What I mean by mysterious is that no two characters ever appear the same way.

Do you know what I mean?

(non-authors, look away before you decide I belong in a white padded room. Please. I like my pretty pink walls.)

*INTERRUPTED THOUGHT, AUTHORS: OMG WHY DOES SKYPE THINK I WANT A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE FROM RUSSIA!? And what do you MEAN all western European and American girls are too 'stuck up?!?!' DARN YOU SKYPE!*


How do your characters appear to you? Do they appear fully formed, as alive as you or me when you first write about them, and you get to discover everything about them as you write? Most of the time, my villians are this way, maybe that's why I like them so much. Like the first time I wrote about my evil general, I was like, "Okay, I know your hands never shake and you like brandy, and that's ALL I know about you, but man, you are there. Like, you exist. Who are you, buddy?"

(Side note: one time one of my characters was being really stubborn about not telling me who he was, until I threatened to make him gay (all I knew was that he was a straight character) and he finally told me about himself. Turns out, the character didn't actually exist, at least, not in the context I thought he did. I felt like Marilla making Anne lie about what happened to her amythest brooch, but instead of 'no picnic,' I used sparkles.)

Another way my characters randomly appear is as a shadow. As in, the whole shape and silhouette is there, but none of the colors or details. I usually have a little more control over these characters. Like, I can't change their basic makeup, but if they have a mortal fear, I can usually decide what it is, or I can shape their motivations.

Sometimes I just make up characters *GASP, I know, no way!* and that can be fun too. Never main characters, never bad guys. I like these characters, and I start them, but then they usually come to life, growl at me, and take their makeup into their own hands, so I don't really 'own' them either. (Does this happen to you?)

There's one other way characters appear to me though, and that, author friends, may happen to you as well. It's almost like 'stealing a character' but it isn't. These are the characters that hop out of that book I read and take on new life, or the characters I've never thought of who whisper in my ear, "See that thief in the movie you're watching? Well, I'm like that thief... only I happen to also have magical powers. Oh, and I kick butt." Sometimes, characters pop out of old characters I've written, too, and that's just weird, especially at reunions.

(Yes, I have reunions with my characters. I'm psychotic. But authors... you understand, right? You're such a sweet, genuinely awesome group of people, you don't judge, right? In fact, I'm willing to be most of you are as weird as me - or weirder. :D)

So tell me, how do your characters appear? To they come to you in full body and fury, or do they appear...

out of the shadows?



(P.S. I'm changing my URL thing tomorrow, so it like, you know, includes my name. Nifty. Oh, and I finished reading Phantom of the Opera. Great story, but the style it was written in wasn't my personal favorite. And I'm not going to read Ysabel just yet, I don't think my heart can take the emotion. SO I'm reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Dead Zone by Stephen King. Why yes, the two ARE related! :P)


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Bethany, you are NOT sub-par!!!!! You are in fact EVERY entertaining. You cracked me up with that Skype interuption!

You just gotta follow and comment on lots a blogs for a while, honey and you'll get there, seriously. Splatter your name all over the place. Then you gotta maintain it. Don't burn yourself out. Just spread yourself evenly. And it's thoroghly enjoyable. You know how many awesome people I have met? INCLUDING YOU!?


Alesa Warcan said...

Sorry for jumping on the bandwagon... But as far as I can see, there is nothing sub-par about your person or your blog.

You write fun posts in your own style and you do it regularly. Three things that make a good blogger.

You may not be widely recognized... yet.
But that's just a matter of time, and getting your name out.

But fame isn't necessarily the same as quality... Some people get ridiculously famous for nothing at all. Not naming names or pointing fingers, but the glossy tabloids feature enough of them to prove my point.
My characters tends to come out of the box ready made and get tweaked to fit the bill. Sometimes they cut they strings and do their thing but usually they are more of a means to get the story to happen through...

Creepy Query Girl said...

1st- you aren't sub par silly goose (yes, I do say silly goose on a regular basis)
2nd- the way your characters come to you is really interesting! The way mine come is kind of like meeting a person in real life. I see the physical description first, their functionality but don't get to their personality until i've done a little digging.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Haha. I love the way your mind and thoughts jump all over the place. Now I don't feel so weird because I do the same thing. :) Thanks!!!!!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

You guys are awesome. Did you know? :D And yes, my mind does jump, sometimes quite far!