BRINGING CHARACTERS TO LIFE

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      “Every person’s feelings have a front-door and a side-door by which they may be entered”

(Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.)

 

WERE YOU EVER TOLD: “YOU DID NOT BRING  CHARACTERS TO LIFE?”

I was, and it was the biggest let-down I could ever imagine. My first reaction was: if I could not bring life to my characters, why am I writing?  I put the rejected manuscript in a drawer, hidden in shame. After weeks of disappointment, I took the manuscript out of the drawer and   re-read my draft.  That is when I realized, although I felt the emotions and feelings of my characters, I neglected to reflect those feelings in my writing.

It was evident I had to learn the difference between emotions and feelings. I found a wonderful Article written by David Corbett, in Writers’ Digest.

Emotion is created through action generated by the character. Sometimes it is an action not expected of your character.  Sometimes the character is experiencing multiple emotions in the scene you are creating.  One thing I did learn is to ask myself what is the obvious response my character might have, and then what other emotion is possible. His advice: To make your characters more real, give them unexpected reactions to the scene playing out.  In writing a mystery, the character may exhibit misdirected emotions to overlook the obvious.

Feelings require mental examination of the thoughts and motives of your characters. You can create empathy for your character with feelings.  Is it right or wrong to feel this way? Would a stronger person feel the same?  Is it the only response for the character?  Is the response worse or better than the response to other situations?  Allow your readers enough information to process the meaning of what happened and make a plan how to proceed.  Start with an unexpected element, or a surprise, and find a physical analogy for it.

Using both together, I learned that I can create a character that changes from the beginning to the end of my story. Further, he advises that through the thoughts and actions of the characters, the reader is also taken along the same path of self-awareness as the characters.

With this information, I re-wrote my manuscript, hoping to succeed in bringing my characters to life and not having to experience the same discouraging review again.

I thank David Corbett, author of “The Art of Character, for his informative piece.

Happy Writing,

Paula

Legends of the Unicorn Fact or Fiction?

fairy horse-1LEGENDS OF THE UNICORN, FICTION OR FACT?

After the frenzy about Starbucks’ Unicorn Drink, I decided to look into why the never-ending popularity of this mythical creature continues.

We have all read about the mythical beast represented by a horse with a single straight-horn projected from its forehead The Unicorn is usually represented in glorious white, with a flowing snow-white mane, and angel-like wings that flew with swift speed and power that no creature could ever overtake it.
If they did not exist, then where did the legend of this magical creature come from? Maybe it was North Korea that, on November 30, 2012, the central News Agency of that country stated that scientists re-confirmed the existence and location of the final resting place of the unicorn once ridden by King Dongmyeong. Or, maybe because there are those who believe that it is mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible nine times.
The first written account of a unicorn in western literature comes from the Greek doctor Ctesias in the 4th century BCE. While travelling through Persia, he heard tales of a single-horned “wild horse” roaming that part of the world. In the ancient Lascaux Caves in France a drawing dating back to 15,000 BC depicted a one-or two-horned creature. The original discoverers were confused due to the closeness of the horns. It could have been one. Did you know even Marco Polo reported a unicorn sighting? (He thought them ugly) Genghis Khan claimed to see the creature.
According to scientists what these people saw could have been a rhinoceros.

I like to believe that Unicorns did exist as did Handsome Princes, Princesses, Wizards, Elves, Fairies, and Snow Queens in the magical world of the minds of children.

Information taken from an Article from: “TODAY I FOUND OUT” (Feed Your Brain) in 2014.)