Observations, Realizations and other Miscenellaneous Mishigas

Now that I’ve actually been sitting down to write again I’ve had wonderful and painful epiphanies.  [Monty Python and the reading meme will be updated next week.]  First:  I really must do full character sheets, almost like what you’d do in any good role playing game – no not THAT kind of role playing – before I work on a project.  Plot related or not, apparently these things are incredibly vital.  You know, like friends, social activities, monumental life events that shape a person.  Yep, I’m more than 80 pages into the manuscript and I just started doing these things.  Now I’m actively avoiding doing it for the character whose section I already wrote.  Because I’m afraid.

Second lesson:  No matter your writing style, it’s best to consider how what you write can be interpreted by the masses.  Why?  Well, as I started contemplating a certain issue in the project I realized that what I wanted to do would probably not be interpreted properly.  When I discussed these notions with my lovely neighbor and most wonderful first reader of the initial 66 pages of the ms she only confirmed my concerns.  The upside of this is that I now have an alternative way of doing what I wanted.  Yeah for awesome suggestions!

Third lesson:  Silence is absolutely, totally and completely vital when it comes to thinking.  This includes quieting the non-writerly minded voices before I can write.

I hope you’ll come back on Wednesday to eavesdrop (okay, not really) into the mind of a lovely author  by the name of Joyce Scarbrough.  Should be a very interesting topic that I hope you will jump into and converse about.


22 responses to “Observations, Realizations and other Miscenellaneous Mishigas

  • e6n1

    Defnitely agree with the point about silence!

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  • laurelrainsnow

    Oh, I am familiar with those character sheets. Mine in my first five novels (the ones that are now out in the world, for better or worse!) were quite thorough and detailed.

    My current sheets on my WIP are less than thorough on some of the character details, so now that I’m going back through and “tweaking” the WIP (rewriting, etc.), I hope to flesh them out.

    I don’t really enjoy that part!

  • Helen Ginger

    I, too, need silence when I write. Some writers have music playing. Not I. I even close the door to my office so I can’t hear anything going on in the house. I’m too easily distracted.


    • kimberlyloomis

      Helen – I have the same problem. Once the mind starts picking other words than the ones it’s creating a certain kind of schizophrenia can be born. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit overly dramatic, but the words do get all jumbled sometimes.

  • Linton

    Silence is golden. I’ve never been able to get into this character thing. I know it’s important but I hate to put all that time and effort in early on a character who only delivers the newspaper. Once my writing start and the plot can be vague or not but I am flexable and let my muse take me where she may. Characters come and go, their motivations come and go. Once I’m pretty well set but never stuck in concrete I fill in the scenes. Anyway BlogDiva that’s the way I do it and we are all different. I envy you immensely as you are starting off on this journey, all the best and remember, dear BlogDiva, each scene has to move, has to forward the plot and usually something wants to do or avoid something.


    • kimberlyloomis

      Linton – Good words. I can totally understand the need for discriminating where time gets spent ESPECIALLY regarding the characters. The characters I’m doing sheets for are only the three main ones and possibly (this is in no way definite) others who were instrumental in making the world as it is. Thanks for sharing your own methodologies. Nice to hear how others work. 🙂

  • Carol Kilgore

    I love brainstorming problems I encounter in writing. That one thing helps me more than anything else.

  • Jemi Fraser

    I don’t use character sheets, but I do let the characters walk around in my head for a while before I start to write. Probably amounts to the same thing 🙂

    • kimberlyloomis

      Jemi – I think so, too. Alas, I only had an idea of his past and then bits of his current occupation and not much else. Left the current person he was kind of lacking in substance. Onward and upward! 😀

  • Joanne

    Isn’t it amazing how those character sketches can take on a life of their own? But it’s all material for the work, definitely. And I cast my vote for silence when I’m working too. My thoughts just flow best that way.

    • kimberlyloomis

      Joanne – So very true. Realized how friends were rather vital to this character and in demonstrating how his piece of the world works. Yeah for silence! I’m thinking that beach house of yours must have been wonderful for that. 🙂

  • Joy

    Yeah, those pesky character charts. I’ve been talking about that on my blog @ The Character Depot. Ya know, I keep starting them and then inevitably forget to check them once in a while, which leaves my characters and me in a bind.

    I found a nifty one recently at http://www.epiguide.com but it’s taking me a while to get the ones for the mc’s filled in. I keep avoiding that. 😀 Over several days I’ve made some progress. I know from experience though that they help tremendously.

  • mywordlyobsessions

    Very interesting post. I think I’m one of those people who cannot write without music. But it has to be the right kind of music, otherwise my writing can get contaminated in a way.

    I don’t know if anyone else does this, but for my recent ms, I’ve compiled a little file of songs and sound clips that captures/ reminds me of the place I’m writing of. My story takes place on a small mediterranean island, so I really want to capture the place. The only way I can do it is through sounds. I suppose we all get information from different channels!

    Yes, I too constantly worry about what the ‘reader’ will take away from my writing. I’ve began striping everything down to basics so it means what it says. The good thing is, I can always build up or embellish parts whenever I want. Writing is so different from reading. Good luck everyone!

  • Bonnie

    I am in 100% agreement with needing complete quiet when writing! I think the noisiest thing to turn off, though, is the inner critic… she makes quite a fuss when I first get started. I have to be pretty strict to get her to zip her lips. 🙂

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