Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Moment of Clarity In Characterization

My last post was on the mystery of one's own writing, and I want to thank one of my oldest readers for their very constructive comment. Since then I have been able to get more work done on my novel, and gain some clarity. 

  As I've said before, I've been working my Alexis trilogy for the last six years. I've always written it with the point of view that my character is one that is rather awkward and temperamental. And with the all the feedback that I've been getting on the story itself, I've realized what things need to change. This rewrite is likely going to have a very different approach. 
   The most noticeable will be the actual beginning—instead of a portrayal of a beautiful, happy family and home, but of a family and home that might be lost, and was once beautiful? Things that are very real in life. But perhaps this is actually what makes her strong—not the awkward “anti-hero” as I had originally written her to be. She is already struggling. Already fighting. And perhaps it is this that is the passion that Aunninguld, the alternate dimension, really needs. Her undying resolve is to save family and home in any way she can, whereas the people of Aunninguld have bee fighting so long most have lost their former faith and passion.
While trying to work out the present scene I was writing, I realized this, and hurriedly typed out the following so as I'd always have a clear message of who—and what—my character really is, as the story of her fight for Aunninguld is told:

“This strength is also her weakness. It gives her drive, yet it slowly tears her apart. It gives her incentive, something to fight for, but the pain of nonattainment (I actually looked up that word, to be sure I had it right--still sounds off) and separation is a knife in her heart. So even as she continues to struggle to find away, all this fear and pain and determination fusing together, she is losing herself as she slowly begins to disintegrate into the movement she has become, and the place she has come to.”

  I am extremely grateful to have this clearer vision of who my character is, and what her story will be.

What are your own stories for finding out truths of your own writing? What were your moments of realizing important aspects of it?


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