Talking to other authors I know sometimes inspires deep wells of jealousy in me. Deep raging jealousies, that make me hate them with all the love and affection in my heart. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have these issues. I know I’m not. Still, I can’t let well enough alone. After I am done talking to these inspiring (hate-inspiring) author friends I find myself digging into these conversations to see what I can use to apply to my own writing.
Take K for example, I was talking to her last night about her writing. She was relating this incredibly intricate plot that totally captured my imagination. And as we continued to talk, I began to wonder about the complexity of my own stories…and despaired. Next to her stories (I’ve heard about more than one and am always fascinated) mine seems childish and simple. It made me crazy thinking about trying to add another layer to my story. Where would I put it? What would it be? ARGH!
Well, I decided to ask her how she did it. How she made the stories that were convoluted and yet still believable. She told me, which is one of the benefits of having friends that write as well, and this is what I got out of it…
Turn your character into a doll and toss them into every situation you can think of…start out with fanfic style things, “Harmony visits Medium” or “Harmony joins Buffy” or “Harmony in Torchwood” and have her walk around talking to people having adventures. Have grand pretend scenes with Harmony and Buffy fighting together to save a child or vanquish a child stealing demon…then take out the fanfic…Harmony saves a child or vanquishes a demon. For me it would have to stick close to the world’s I’m trying to work in. No Harmony in Star Wars or Harmony in Blood Ties…although…drool. (OH! And here’s a great big RASPBERRY to Lifetime for cancelling Blood Ties.)
Sorry, sorry…whoops…side tracked. Anyway, I wouldn’t be able to work a character I already had in mind into completely bizzare worlds but if I had an idea for a character I might be tempted to toss them in anything that stuck my fancy.
As I thought about this approach, I remembered some fanfic rpging I had done a while back in Anne McCaffery’s Dragonrider of Pern world gone wrong. I also remembered the depth in this character, the intricate stories that went with her…and I further remembered how Day and I had come up with an idea for this girl (totally not related to A.M’s world) and how easy it was to put her into this story because she was so well developed before I ever began to write for her.
Another day, another revelation. The world is filled with them.