Category: Character Development

Saying Good-bye to a Character

November 23, 2010 This came in from Mindy Halleck, novelist, travel-writer, blogger. Recently, I had an epiphany about my writing. We writers create with our subconscious minds. It has taken me ten years to finish my novel, There Once Were Warriors – this last decade I have had cancer three times. I needed healing – I unconsciously created a healer. Until time came to kill one of the main characters in my novel, Solomon, I hadn’t realized what he meant to me. During my decade of dealing with cancer, I had, in him, created a spiritual healer. He doled out spiritual advice, tonics, oils and wisdoms to all the other characters that populate my novel. I simply hadn’t realized that subconsciously he meant healing to me. The thing I needed the most. Saying goodbye to him on page 360-something launched me into a painful few days of crying, mourning, watching comfort movies and eating popcorn to fill the void, numb the pain. Solomon walked that cancer journey with me, healing me. In the novel I gave him three arrows; a spiritual trinity to be launched into the heart of my deadly illness (the monster in my book) and let it die with him. I now realize it was all a metaphor for my disease. Taking a good long look at the truth behind our fiction characters and trying to...

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Who Needs It?

Who needs another writing blog? An example: Writer  1: I’ve got it all written down… in my head….: After a thousand sleepless nights spent plotting and replotting novels, after talking for a thousand hours about writing, after friends have said ‘what a neat idea, you should write a novel’, Writer 1 enrolls in a writing class. “What are you working on?” we ask. “I have six novels.” “How many pages?” “Uh… I haven’t actually written anything yet. I have them outlined in my head.” “Who’s your Antagonist?” “Antagonist?” “You know? The bad guy?” “Antagonist? Uh…Well…There aren’t any bad guys in my book. I want to write nice novels…” “Okay. Nice.” “A question? “Shoot.” “How do I get an agent?” This writer needs B&J’s Blog. How do we get this writer on track? Develop the Antagonist first, we say. If you’re writing a detective novel, your sleuth doesn’t have anything to do until the killer kills or the kidnapper snatches the woman. If you’re writing a genre novel make a list of characters and fill in their lives with backstory. Spend some time on the page writing about writing. But…don’t talk about it anymore. Writers write. Go to Louisa’s. Sit down with other writers. Write the backstory on your Antagonist. Push the essential elements of the craft: Character, Action, Dialogue, Setting, Objects. Write now. Get it on the page. Now....

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The Dress as Ritual

Bob thinks this little piece is buried too deep in the page called “Ritual in Memoir and Fiction” so we’re moving it to a post. We’ve been writing about ritual for years–meaning characters (or inhabitants in memoir) go through ritual change. So how does ritual work? First, there’s nothing abstract about ritual. When you link ritual to an object, you automatically layer the ritual by adding a time component. In a bonding ceremony called a “Wedding”, the ritual act of ring exchange (the primary object) takes place in a limited place within a limited and fixed amount of time, the time it takes the ecclesiastical or civil power to consummate the bond—usually a few minutes. The changes, however, are enormous. Let’s look at the secondary object in the wedding ceremony—the Dress. The ritual of marriage itself is simple: State 1-Unmarried Ritual act-Exchange of Vows and Rings. State 2-Married. So simple, yet so complex for the subtext leading up to the ritual of separation. The ring is one object. The dress is another matter. The wedding dress—white, pink or yellow—is the last in a series of dresses that prime the inhabitant for the ceremony of the ring and for the ceremonial act of bonding. The dress is an index to an emotional condition called “love.” What does the inhabitant who wears the dress want? and what does she have to...

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©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.