Wednesday snuck up behind me and sucker punched me into totally forgetting about posting a new image and a wordy little offering for all my lovely followers. I do apologize, adulting doesn’t come with instructions, though it should. 😉 Never the less, March is quickly moving right along at a fair clip and we’re still knee deep in our focus on understanding and working with the mental realm when it comes to our writing.
Today we’ll be taking a quick look at “reflections” and how they relate to our characters. Taking a moment to get into the heads of our characters is one thing, but how they are perceived by others and themselves becomes an issue to address. Does this view reflect our characters’ true feelings?
Many times throughout our writing adventures we create characters based on a wide range of parameters, but is all that’s created gold? If you’re like me, chances are you’ve made characters that fall flat on their faces and ones that you ultimately come to cherish, but what happens when you truly look at your creations? Do they reflect back their hopes, fears, and dreams, or are they just simple folk with no discernable traits just waiting to become cannon fodder for a created villain or circumstance? Has your character grown, moved on, or simple stood in a corner waiting to die? If they look in a mirror would they see their greatness or feel the tug of emotions weighing them down?
When it comes to creating new characters that will fill our worlds, realness is key. You could argue that maybe your book takes place a thousand years from now on a planet made of jelly, but even then those inhabitants would need to follow some push and pull mechanic of life and internal struggle otherwise it would simply be a scientific documentary which is fine if that’s what you’re aiming to create. Whatever or Whoever you create in the world of fiction, does it reflect the character you had in mind, does the persona they provide differ from the one they keep to themselves? How do others see them, how do they see themselves? Much like the driving forces that propel us in the real world, our characters need to be relatable and something we can feel, attach ourselves to, and love, or hate if you’re creating some nasty warthog villain with a penchant for smoked sausages.
In my first book, as an example, one of my main characters Truddie Mae Watts displays a tough motherly approach to life, a natural born leader, a headstrong and fiercely independent woman whose focus on the “job” makes her appear a little rough around the edges. Inside, however, her heart aches for the connection, the closeness of another in her magical life and is often weighed down by past regrets and loss of ones she held close to her heart. If she were to look upon a mirror, she would see an innocent eleven-year-old girl staring back, a body she inhabits due to magic gone wrong, inside a bundled wreck of loss, old age, and personal fears.
It’s not perfection, but it showcases how we need to do a multi-approach to our characters. No one single person is everything, nor is one single person not carrying some form of mental turmoil with them. We build walls, barriers to the world around us letting very few in, but as a writer, you hold the key to all the doors and your readers want to know that someone out there, be it crazy, lonely, or struggling with real life reflects them in every way possible.
These posts will be about showcasing a random picture I find in the hopes of inspiring others to create ideas for their writing. Sometimes I provide the picture and randomly prattle on about something I find interesting, sometimes I do more than my fair share.
I have found that generating a quick 1-3 sentence scenario, a blurb, a scene, or a full novel concept based on a random picture has worked wonders in opening up the floodgates to new ideas and enjoyment in the world of fiction. It is my hope that others will find these images and possibly be inspired to jump into the wild world of writing and become the author they always wanted to be.
Without further ado, our 28th entry!-
Photo Credit- Outer Peace. Kylli Sparre, March 4th, 2018.