Friday, 21 March 2014

Writing - Where were you when...?

I really dislike the question 'Where were you when?' mainly because it worries me when I can't provide an answer.

JFK's assassination.

I was 13 years old when Kennedy was shot. I believe I was at home watching TV with my parents. 
No idea what I was doing when Princess Diana died.
I was teaching when two aircraft crashed into the World Trade Centre. 
In a sense it is not that important to remember where you were but how you felt about the occurrence. Similarly, when writing stories, it's necessary to establish a chronology but to really engage the reader it is the emotions and interactions that are important. 

I remember reading an article about intelligence when I was training to be a teacher. The article described how a student of a very intelligent professor, while taking a walk in a forest, asked the names of various things that he saw. The professor made the comment that intelligence wasn't about the names of things you can remember but the interactions between those things.

Back to the writing. 

In writing the Steele novels as I have learnt more from the characters about their personalities, their reactions in various situations and the background that has formed them, I believe the quality of the stories has improved. 
There are similarities in the human voice to the quality of stories. When we speak our voices rise and fall in pitch, volume and timbre and this happens because of our life experiences. However, the change in our voices happens beyond our conscious control. When we have developed the characters in our stories the way they react in different situations is automatic so rather like our voice. Some find it a little scary that the character they've created has taken over the story, personally I think its exciting and a natural development of the creative process.

On VG and running today.

God Bless