They say the camera never lies, but it never tells the whole truth either. You think you can see what’s real but there are all sorts of things you can’t see just beyond the frame of the photograph and beyond the moment when the photograph is taken.
That happy smiling person you can see may have troubles in their life that you know nothing about, that idyllic scene may have mountains of rubbish and a power plant just out of shot making it a nightmare wasteland instead of a beautiful landscape.
An idea came to mind recently about a character who would be engaged in dialogue with the author (me) as part of the story. I felt I needed to know a lot about the character as I would not only be directing him but he would also be complaining to me if I ‘wrote’ him in the wrong direction.
It’s well-known that our senses are strongly linked to memory recall. Whether it is particular tastes, pieces of music or certain sounds, the touch of something familiar, or a smell.
For me, there are certain bands or albums that seem to define eras in my life and to bring back strong memories of who I was at the time; the mood of the time, the hopes and desires, the sense of self, whether it was an optimistic time or a pessimistic one, the people I knew. It depends on the music as to how I feel and what I remember.
Dialogue is a wonderful tool for showing the nature of someone’s character in your story.
In real life we are constantly measuring and gauging the character and nature of people around us. From an evolutionary point of view this would be to assess safety and threat; how comfortable we are with a person, or people, or how threatened we feel.
Is there really silence in a scene you’re writing?
We’ll often write that there was a silence, often between two characters or when someone is listening out for something, but is there really silence? Are we outside or indoors? Is there a clock in the room? Any passing traffic? You should consider these things in order to keep your reader in a scene. Continue reading →
How often have you read something like: ‘He felt embarrassed’? or: ‘She started to cry’? and not really felt the emotion yourself?
When was the last time you started to cry because a character in the book you were reading started to cry? Have you thought about why you felt the emotion strongly enough that it touched something in you? Continue reading →