Helga’s Post #1 — It must be a coincidence – no, more likely a conspiracy by Loki, God of mischief and chaos – that our group’s challenge starts at the exact time we are in the midst of the last, and most glorious days, of summer. So I decided, without much success, to write outside, trying to read what’s on my computer screen in the bright light while the sun is warming my back. I doubt that a complete novel ever got written that way, but I swear the brilliant light of the sky is like a silver bullet hitting my creative streak. At least a little.
I come back into the house to take one of the ‘how to’ books on writing off the shelf. I am seeking advice on character development, the most critical phase of starting a novel. At least that’s how I see it. Strange how many titles there are. Like alphabet soup. Each promises to lead its followers to writing excellence and bestseller fame. I have read a few and have followed some of their sage advice. But not always. They’re a bit like a crutch, which is sometimes the opposite from letting your mind go to where it wants. Sometimes these writers get into my head (after they found a way to my wallet), pulling me in a direction that feels, well, contrived. So I pick and choose from their wisdom, like from a bag of colorful candies. But if they are messing too much with my head, I put up the ‘No Trespassing’ sign.
Having said that, I did get some fine ideas for plot development from James Scott Bell’s ‘Plot & Structure’. And who knows, someday another title will be on the shelf, bearing one of my writing partners’, or my own name. Hopefully five new titles.
But there’s work to be done, rain or shine. Let the games begin.