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Thursday, 14 August 2014

Taking My Characters For Walks

A couple of months ago I blogged about how I was writing longhand again, indulging in short story writing to satisfy my craving to write without being submerged into a novel draft. Well, I'm still enjoying it. I've got several written and typed up, they're now waiting for some conscientious editing which may have to wait until I've fulfilled my quota of conscientious thesis editing and have seen how much conscientiousness is left over. But it occurred to me the other week that I was being a little peculiar - again.

I had wandered into town to have a coffee and do some writing but I hit a stumbling block. I'd envisioned a character as a bit of a harridan and my plan was for her to be humiliated (yes, I know, mean) but I couldn't get from A to B. So, instead of going home after my coffee, I told myself I wouldn't head in that direction until I'd figured it out. Unfortunately, Wakefield isn't exactly big enough to make that sort of dream a reality. So after walking the character around a shopping centre and a few streets, I turned my feet towards the retail park. Then it started to rain. The things we do for our stories.

Eventually, I realised that, yes, I was looking at it wrong. This character had more to her, the reason she was being a cow was intrinsically linked to the main thrust of my story and I hadn't noticed. Would I have reached that conclusion without taking her for a walk? Well, probably. But it wouldn't have happened so rapidly. And I wouldn't have got so soggy.

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