This one is slightly different from the others I’ve posted here on the blog. A story of sorts, maybe a warning if you prefer. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago and just haven’t put it online until now. It was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my best friends, although I won’t go into details. We were talking about our books and numerous writing projects, and I scribbled this down so I wouldn’t forget it.
I tend to refer to certain moods, elements, whatever, as people. Love is both a man and a woman, depending on what is needed and the mood that element is in. I like to think of her as a woman most days, but that’s nothing against men. When I picture loyalty, that’s a man through and through. Also nothing against the opposite sex, that’s just what I picture. I know I’ve written about both love and loyalty here on the blog, and I’ve always had fairly distinct visions of what they might be like as people.
My best friend and I spend a lot of our time talking about our stories and how things are going and character concepts. It’s something we both enjoy, and it’s a good way to waste time if we are doing something that doesn’t require much attention mentally. It’s easy to get lost in conversation when you both have so much to say about the characters you are creating and writing. I find that even when I’m not writing, I like to be creating something in some way. If that means telling spoken stories about my characters to my best friend, then so be it. I find it’s also a good way to test characters for their strength. If I can’t think of a backstory and some good qualities for that character, they can’t be in my written work.
Call it improvisation, if you will. If I can’t wing it and think of a good history for that character, it’s not worth even considering putting them into a story or into my books. I need to know that a character can be their own person before I can write them. Sometimes it comes with time. There are times that I can revisit a concept months later and be happy with where that person has gone since we last visited. Generally, when we start talking about the characters we create, a history will come to mind almost instantly, and we will ave the basis for a short story or a good supporting character for a longer story. It may seem like a strange way to do things, but it does work wonders for us. Maybe I’ll write up a longer blog post at some point describing how we go about it for anyone who is interested. For now, I will let you know that I have some prompts coming your way that may help in your own growing story concepts. The monthly list is just about ready to go, so expect it in the next few days.