Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Writing - Who do we think we are?

The BBC announced that they are carrying out a survey into who we think we are and in doing so they are asking questions that would make, in part, an interesting construction frame for developing characters in stories.
They didn't ask questions about hair colour, eye colour likes and dislikes but more about relationships between friends and neighbours, fellow countrymen and foreign countries. I believe that it is the type of querying that will give insight into the nature of characters in books, so for example - Steele has a strong English identity which comes out in the 2nd book in the series 'The 51st State'

This is an important part of the characters we create which can give a sense of direction in the way they behave and interact. It is important to create a physical identity but more interesting for the reader are realistic interactions and human frailties which stem from character traits that develop throughout life.

The BBC have asked people to send in 'selfies' to illustrate what people think about who they are and there have been some interesting submissions which can be seen on the website. I haven't submitted one but have compiled a set of pics of yours truly taken over the last 64 years. I know this can be boring but I'm working on the principle that readers like to 'know their authors more fully!

 Aged around 9 months and taken in 1950. What could I have thought my life would turn out to be like at this stage? My father was a mechanical engineer working in the coal mines and mother had been a civil servant. Yes I am wearing a dress but that was what all children were dressed like in the early fifties! Honest!!

Aged 7
I would have been at junior school when this was taken and the fly away shirt collar was a signal, had I but known it, that looking smartly dressed was always going to be a problem. I can put on a new suit and half an hour later it looks as if I've slept in it! Is your central character unkempt - Steele isn't. I'm just curious as to where all that hair went!!!

 If I was to choose one pic that exemplifies who I am, this would be the one. I was 17 years old, attending a grammar school and taking part in  the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. Of course it was taken pre-selfies!

Aged 36

After three years of full time work and part time study I was awarded a B.Ed. (Hons) degree in Management in Education and Computer Literacy. Perhaps this was the point at which Literacy changed from that with computer software to make believe!

 Aged about 62 and this one is the familiar face of the writer. Today the beard is longer as I haven't trimmed during Lent which is just part of my penitential behaviours this year.

All of the above are actually part of the biological soup that is yours truly and when you create a character it is that level of depth you have the opportunity to delve into to set your character on their way. Obviously, you can write a series of stories and that will increase the opportunities to round off your created personalities.

On VG today.

God Bless