Monday, May 2, 2011

Note: This blog entry was written by Temple Hogan. Jennifer Armintrout is just posting it for her.

In the Merry, Merry Month of May we’ll merrily blog along. I’m just proud that I remembered it’s my blogging day tomorrow, so tonight, a quiet Sunday evening after a long and busy week-end, I’m feeling merrily superior to my previous self.

Now the question is what to blog about? What will blow the socks off my fellow bloggers or if I take my ego out of the equation what pearls of wisdom can I give my sister writers? I could talk on procrastinations because I’m the best procrastinator there ever was, but I don’t think anyone needs any lessons in that. It seems to be as natural as rolling off a log for most of us. I could talk about building convoluted characters. I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s THE ROBBER BRIDE and I’m amazed at how she builds her characters and what insight she shows for them.

But I need to talk about getting back to work after a long eventful week-end when you really don’t want to put the old nose to the grindstone or finger to the keyboard. That’s where my worst procrastination comes in. I like my life very much and enjoy every minute of it, well, not every minute. If I could have someone permanent to scrub my toilets and dust the living room, then I’d enjoy every minute of it. But all together, life is good and I say a lot of thank you in my prayers to God.

But I digress, a favorite ploy of a procrastinator. Tonight as I lay in my comfy, deeply cushioned chair with my feet propped up watching the telly between my bare toes, I wondered what I’d have to do to get myself motivated again and the surprising thought came to me. It won’t be hard, because my characters have been waiting patiently for me to finish my gallivanting around and tell their story. I was so startled. They’ve become real to me, well as real as any princess I know. So that made me think about characters again. We can’t all possess the genius of Margaret Atwood, but we can come to feel close to our characters. Most of us are social creatures, we like meeting new people, we hug our friends with renewed appreciation of their kindnesses, we know who they are and what they’ve been through, we know their strengths and bravery and their weaknesses and need for friendship and love from us.

Hey, light-bulb moment. I think my characters are like flesh and blood friends. Instead of being afraid of our characters, wondering if we’re fleshing them out enough and understanding their motivations, we have to first make them our best friends and embrace them for all their strengths and love and support them in spite of their weaknesses. We have to love our characters or at least, like them. And we have to protect them. We put them through an awful lot physically and mentally and sometimes we're a little fiendish about it. We forget they have limits too, especially our poor heroines. It’s easy to love a hot hunk of hero, but it’s the heroine I’m talking about. She becomes us at our finest and we are made finer in exploring her world. Well, having ferreted out that little nugget of wisdom, I’m excited.

I can hardly wait until first light so I can embrace my dear friend, Treasa and find out what she’s dealing with today!


Jenn said...

I love how you start your blog. You aren't sure what to write. Then you turn your events into a short story... and before you know it, you're working on your writing. The next time you sit down and write, you'll have more of your character developed.

Stephanie Michels, author said...

Peg, good thoughts on making friends with your characters. You have to love 'em to make 'em believable.

Go Girl!