Monday, January 25, 2010

Stop! In the name of love...

Okay, we all love our manuscripts. Fact.

But sometimes our manuscripts don't love us. Betcha didn't think about that, did ya?

What I'm trying to say is: Sometimes we don't open up as much as we could when it comes to telling a story. Sometimes we hold back. Yeah, well, characters don't like that, I've learned. They want every detail from a spec of dust on the floor to how brightly a star shines in the heavens. No stone left unturned. No moment left untold.

This is it. Our one shot to tell the world how wonderful and real realistic our characters are. Why should we screw it up for them? It's not our moment to shine; it's theirs. After all, they were brave enough to step forward, take our hands and say, "Help us."

You are the happy medium, the connection between our world and theirs. It's up to you to show everyone the real story. 

I've learned that holding back doesn't do any good. If you leave out some important tidbit of information because you think it won't add much, you might be wrong. What if it does? What if that plot point turns into another plot point, and another? Really, you won't feel the story is complete (consciously or subconsciously) if you're missing something.

So, whatever your characters tell you, write it down. Even if it's something that doesn't make sense at this point in your book, you might be able to use it for later. The fact of the matter is: They're trying to tell you something. How are you supposed to tell their story to the best of your ability--for their sake and yours--if you don't open up and listen?

5 comments:

  1. truer words and all that...I am one of those who used to think less is more, that is until I met my beta and she started asking all the things that I never believed anyone else cared about except for me. Now, I know the truth. If your characters tell you, it means that they want it passed on! :)

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  2. You are so right. Whole worlds open up if we let our characters have their say.

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  3. The best books are those with unforgettable characters.

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  4. I'm with you on that one, its really important to listen to your characters

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  5. It's all in the details, they say. Writing description / detail is my biggest weakness, but I'm working on it. A writer must understand that his or her vision cannot be truly seen by the reader unless there are enough words to paint the picture.

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