How do you react under fearful circumstances? You (and your characters) have two main responses—fight or flight—and several gradations of each. When you are in fear of losing your life or someone about whom you care deeply the ante rises exponentially. Other less frightening situations have a different response. We are made differently. But knowing your hero/ heroine well foretells their actions.
Have you as a writer experienced a cataclysmic situation for which you froze or did the unthinkable, an action you would have never predicted? What will the behaviour of your hero and heroine or villain be when under intense horror?
Musa and Ferenc experienced fear daily. She did not bond with her only escort. Ferenc, on the other hand, traveled with his brother and men whose courage and dedication to him moving horses up the Danube. He could depend on what his men would do, or could he? Both German and Russian soldiers were starving. Which group might find Ferenc’s barge loaded with horses and feast on their flesh. How did each of the main characters in Torn Apart handle themselves under duress?
Thank you for following,
Two different writing gurus separately advised Jessica and I to consider writing our novels in first person. We were content in our omniscient 3rd POV. I hemmed and hawed over the idea. Jessica launched into taking a scene written in omniscient 3rd person.to rework. I pondered and eventually ordered The Power of Point of View: Make Your Story Come to Lifeby Alicia Rasley. I recommend it for anyone confused about which POV would work best for their story. Finally I took on Jessica’s challenge.
It was hard to recreate the chosen scene in first person. I’ll admit it. I wrestled with my new draft. I wanted to use the same verb tense as the 3rd POV. Several sentences became awkward, but I lived in my character’s mind. I heard, saw and projected into her life. Wow.
After we met to read to each other, we were happily surprised. I had not heard Jessica’s 3rd person scene before and found it delightful, but when I listened to her 1st person POV, I sat back in my chair. “That’s a tremendous revision.” She nodded her head and agreed she preferred my second scene rewrite, also. I understood her heroine better.
The personal scenes jumped to life. Both were easier to follow and, here’s the kicker, we were in our characters’ minds and emotions. No more “head jumping” for us!
So, here we go.
I fully understand another reason writing takes entirely too long. What do each of us writers want? We want our story to be an enjoyable read that engrosses our fans. Maybe it will be memorable as well?
Have you encountered someone in your life who when their lips moved, they were lying? Since having recent experiences with people who scammed me with a toothy grin and affable manner, I have been had. Perhaps your characters have, too.
My mother advised me to not trust people who didn’t trust others. That’s been proven accurate over time. I embrace the “listen to your gut”and that has helped me. I arrived home to my safe little home and sensed someone was in my house or had been lurking. I leaped down stairs and missed all but one quickly enough to stop the friend who had dropped me off less than 30 seconds before. Yes, the house was dark and the screen had been pried off the window. The garage man door was ajar. I trust my gut.
But I have been pulled in by the narcissistic personality. They are never wrong, never apologize unless it is manipulative, have no empathy for others, and have a penchant for deceit. They portray an exaggerated sense of self and are attention/praise whores. Add strategic, cunning, and intelligent to their personalities, and they’re trouble to an unsuspecting person. (Sound like anyone you know?)
When they interpret another as belittling them, watch out. It’s WWIII.
View the characters in your story. Could any of them be narcissistic? How does that possibility ramp up your work?
I have been a follower of the game show, “Survivor” since its 2nd season. Initially I thought it was stupid and ridiculous. Then I got caught up with the human element— why do participants make the decisions they do and make no apology for what they do? —–only rationalizations. Human nature amazes me. Humanness drives choices as it does for our characters, and, oh yes, ourselves. Survivor is a game in which death and destruction are supplanted by money.
What motivates our choices under duress, be it life and death or a game show? My characters were people who struggled against great odds during WWII to live. Life and death decisions and no win choices.
Meanwhile, back to the game, Survivor. I hadn’t watched the final 3 episodes before last night. I was horrified. The winner of immunity challenges which kept him in the game and who played with honesty, loyalty, and kept his word until he had a “Sophie’s choice “with 3 players with whom he had made alliances. He was forced to make a No-Win choice. He had given an immunity idol he had found to another player jeopardizing his own game. He was the perfect winner. He did not get even one vote.
What was his Achilles heel?
He was socially awkward since a child. He never said but he may have had a mild autism.He showed who he was but that “flaw” cost him the game. Ken didn’t know how to play the social game. He didn’t show his emotions as the winner did. He never played that card. The winner did—sincerely as he was, that was the important difference.
The values of the voters ignored his honourable game play and passed him over because of his personality. Was this true in 1945? Is it true of our culture now?
First, I would like to start out by saying I did not get paid for this post. (Okay, maybe I did just like the millions of other folks selling out to earn a paycheck.) Yet, this is a simpleton’s view from a galaxy far, far away.
Professionally, I don’t get it.
Why are we supporting a culture averaging 60+billion dollars a year? The beauty industry does come in close at 2nd, around 55+billion. (See OM’s fashion blog.)
And we wonder why we are fucked. Is there really nothing else in this world we could be spending our hard earned money on? Maybe on a class in ethical behavior and morality? Athletes are made out to be heroes, not humans, [many times paid handsomely and believing those computer generated, manipulated stats.)
‘Ladies & Gentlemen’ our children are watching.
Could the nightly news have a segment on “how to be a better person, tools for achieving spiritual ‘God’ status?” After looking at this list of felons, just in the NFL, I am sure you would agree the nation could use such. (Oh’ wait maybe that syndicate is considered Dr.Phil or Oprah.)
-All of this just makes us look like ID 10 T’s-
I thought, at first, this would be funny, poking fun at Tom Brady and Tony Romo-my all time dislikes, hailing Joe Montana, the Manning boys, cursing the fate of Tim Tebo, but now I am disgustingly depressed. Close your eyes OM, I found this… and I close the chapter on my excitement in running a sports segment. Everything is “rigged.”
Before I let you go here is one of my favorite clips in the whole of my NFL watching career.
Why can’t we #BeLove #ShowLove, real people, reporting real news, NO sensationalizing…
Write On…Send Sunshine-<3 Jess