Monday, June 4, 2012
The Perfect Dress
When I'm looking for the perfect dress or top, I can't rely on their appearance. What seems like the ideal choice on the rack often brings disappointment or downright horror in the dressing room. By the same token, the items I've brought in on a whim or with little enthusiasm often become my favorites.
Writing a book can resemble trying on clothing. I'll ask myself questions like:
1) What will make my character more realistic? A collection of some kind? A love for a particular color or type of clothing? An endearing habit or favorite food? A passion for a cause?
2) What timeframe/setting will be the best vehicle for my story idea? Will it work as a contemporary, a historical, or a futuristic novel?
3) How can I use my own interests/hobbies to enrich my writing?
I once switched the time period of my first manuscript to the present day. Or attempted this feat. It didn't work, but I'm glad I tried. The effort bolstered my confidence in my story and the direction it took.
Now, I try on different scenarios like apparel. I recently snagged a great dress on a clearance rack. Who knows what treasures await as I explore my writing toolbox?
Writers: Do you try what-if questions? Have you ever made your story take a detour or changed characters during the editing process? Let's discuss this in the comments.
Readers: Do you ever get annoyed with a particular character in the books you read? Please share.