Monday, June 21, 2010


I fell asleep one night and got a really clear picture of my Grandmother sitting in her favorite green Adirondack chair on her porch. With her gray streaked, thinning hair rolled into a bun. Her loose house dress on. Her brown all seeing eyes, on the sea.

It occurred to me that she'd been haunting me for a while. Gradually building up and solidifying her presence. Over time when the random voice would sound inside my head. It was her voice. When out of my mouth would come her sayings.

Now I see her clearly. So clearly in fact that when her mouth moves I can hear her voice. That is, when she talks. You see my grandmother was a listener.

She listened more than she ever spoke. She watched all those around her with an eagle, if kind eye. The weight of it fell upon you only when she wished it. She saw deeper than anyone ever wanted to admit. When she spoke more often than not, we had to listen.

It hurt more often than not, that truth. She wrapped it in her sayings, her parables. In the end they were just that, truth.

Be still. Be quiet. Listen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Character development.

I've been thinking of character development recently.
When I start a book it's most often a scene that comes to me first. Sometimes that scene is used and sometimes it's not. But the characters in that scene often have secrets, and often I don't know what those secrets are until page 100 or 200. The important question for to ask is then "Why?".

You ask that question like a three year-old would ask it. You ask it until you've gotten down to the deepest darkest secrets and still sometimes your characters have the ability to surprise you.

Characters are just like real people they are not meant to be cardboard cutouts, or stereotypes. You want the reader to identify with them, and if not, then to understand what drives them, what makes them tic.

Every character has a facade they present to the world. It's your job as the author, to make your reader to want to see below the surface. By offering tidbits of information, whether it be an abnormal response to the physical or a moment of illogical fear.

So, I ask you now, who is your favorite character?