Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting to Know You

Spent some of my writing sessions this week getting to know my characters in my work in progress a little better. Writing letters to one another, planning scene ideas or plot ideas or problems posed. I've been doing this off and on for about 3 weeks and I'm feeling like I know the people and stories better as I work on the actual writing. Curious to see how this makes a difference in the way I've written in the past.

I'm in that place where many children's writer's are with the kid's parents. How involved in the story are they? For my story, it's very important that the Mom is involved. But with Dad, I can go either way. He can be a part of it, though a much more silent part of the issue, or very possibly he left when the problem began and it's just Mom and main character. Do I want to create a broken family unit (which they are) and have everyone resolved in the end, or partially fixed?

That's the scary thing and the exciting thing about writing fiction. There are so many directions we can go with it and we're constantly asking ourselves, "Is this the right direction or is that one?" Know one but us will know that we considered another path in the story, but we torment ourselves (okay, maybe it's just me, but I don't think so) with the thought that we took or are taking the wrong story path and if we'd go another way, the story would be 'right'.

It's the idea of getting a group of writers together and saying, Okay, we're all going to write a story about a dragon, a boy, and a treasure to be found. Each person would write a different story because of their own thoughts, background, issues, and interests.

What do you think? As you get to know your character, does your story change and do you try to fight that change to keep to your plan, or do you go with it and then wonder if you did the right thing?

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