Actors talk about staying in character while they are in a play or movie, and how it helps them stay true to the role. I believe writers have the same dilemma when they are working on a book.
How do you get back into character when you’ve had a long break? While I’m writing, I continue to revisit my character outline and critical, pivotal moments, especially when writing a series. I don’t want the story to deviate from a particular character’s motivations and general personality. It wouldn’t make sense to have a mild-mannered individual begin swearing like a sailor and starting bar fights without reason.
I’ve been away from writing for about six months after a cross-country move and major orthopedic surgery. Life was chaotic, and I missed the daily catharsis it provided desperately. My recent move has added some distractions I haven’t had to deal with before. I’m still unpacking boxes and getting my life organized. I’m meeting new friends and have had an increase in social activities. It’s also lovely weather, and I’m spending more time outside walking the trails, swimming, and going to the gym. Plus, my husband is around the house since he retired.
Now that I’m back, I find the voice in my head is muted. I’m re-reading what I’ve written thus far to recapture my creative fire. Each day, I isolate myself after my morning walk and sit down with my laptop to make some headway. The progress is slow, but I’m hopeful that sometime soon, I will feel like writing for hours.
I’d love to hear from other writers about how they have dealt with a similar situation. Back to writing ~~ Kate
What subtle thoughts or subconscious musings make their way into your stories? Mark Huntley-James explores this topic in the One Million Project’s blog this week via Noticing Noticing~~Mark Huntley-James
It’s been a very long time since I’ve pulled out my laptop to write anything. My surgery was on August 19th. It was tough but manageable for the first few days following surgery. My knee was swollen to twice its size, stiff and painful causing me to move with slow and precise steps. But by the end of the first week, I navigated without the aid of a walker and began using my cane. By the end of week two, I walked without the cane, and by the end of week three, I was discharged from physical therapy.
I wrote twice over those weeks. So much for using rehab time to advance the storyline on my work in progress. When I could, I walked, climbed stairs, and packed boxes. My life became involved in determining where to stack cardboard cubes and judging what should be placed into the same box. My somewhat orderly world with all of its cozy spots morphed into chaos.
Where would I find a place to sink into a comfy chair, sip on a cup of coffee and write about strong women searching, struggling, and surviving in the fictional landscapes in my head?
Every room in the house that I’ve lived in for almost twenty-four years has been rendered almost unrecognizable. Is it a wonder that my internal voice has grown silent when I have problems leaving dishes in my sink before I can even begin to sit down and write.
Even my dining room which is used on holidays, when guests visit, and when I videotape or record podcasts, is a cluttered mess with all of my packing supplies,
extra boxes and the like. The rooms where our bed & breakfast guests lounged while they stayed with us have been emptied of any of the grace and peace that embodied those spaces. My compulsion to put things into order wars with the countdown to moving day.
Instead of working through how my protagonist will find purpose, love, and adventure, I focus on my struggles with chaos and my feelings that I will never be able to write again and the nagging insecurity that my contribution to the world of fiction has ended.
Now, back to packing those boxes. The kitchen is next!
The Clare Thibodeaux Series can be found on Amazon. Watch for Kate’s short story “What Happens in Vegas…” in the Strong Women anthology to be published by NeoLeaf Press. The story features a character from one of her 500-word short story challenges — “Talent Discovered”.
Please check out this week’s One Million Project blog by John Nedwell via I Think I’m Learning Japanese~~John Nedwell
Join me this weekend, July 29 – 30, at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines, IA. I will have a table at the Book Expo where I will have my books for sale and will be signing books. With over 30 authors, this should be a fun event.
My latest blog for the One Million Project is online. Check out the One Million Project’s website and blog about the work they are doing to help raise money for Cancer Research UK and EMMAUS homeless programs.
When I was a little girl, oh so many decades ago, my first form of storytelling was just that — sitting with my younger siblings and telling them a story that I made up. Creating little plays that we could perform in for my parents and grandparents. Playing in the yard, I would concoct a scenario of what we were playing that day. Sometimes we were settlers crossing the vast prairies looking for a place to build our cabin; at other times, we might be cruising through space in our spacecraft. (Can you tell I grew up in the sixties on series like Bonanza and Star Trek?)
Originally, I had planned to write a post on one of the One Million Project’s causes, but I decided to write about something new that I and several other writers I know are tackling in addition to self-publishing our work.
My new venture…
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This month’s book club selection was The Tattooist of Auschwitz. The book is based on the memories of Lale Sokolov’s time as a prisoner in Auschwitz. It is a story filled with the atrocities witnessed first-hand by Lale, and it is also a love story. Lale met his soulmate in the camp and only knew her by the number he’d tattooed on her arm. He sought her out, and their relationship helped them fight for survival even when life seemed unbearable and death seemed to be a way to peace.
It was a fast read and the insider’s look into the concentration camp was fascinating and horrifying to read. The romance was an important thread throughout the book. I would recommend it to those who enjoy memoirs, historical fiction, WWII stories, and romance novels.
I wish I could read more often than I do, but Need to Know by Karen Cleveland was a super quick read because it was sooo good! I love reading thrillers and suspense stories, and this novel was one of the better ones I’ve read in a while.
Cleveland weaves you through the intricacies of being a CIA analyst and having a family while trying to uncover Russian sleeper cells embedded in the US. Things get more complicated when she uncovers evidence that implicates someone close to her.
The rollercoaster ride is only beginning. When I reached the end, I closed the book firmly saying, “Brilliant ending” out loud. I don’t do that every day. I’d give this book 5 stars.