The old saying, “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” seems to hold true for most people in the South. We started with gusty winds and mini cold snaps, now nothing more than a meek breeze and sunshine. As Easter approaches, we watch the candy fly off the shelves as our “Snow Birds” make their mass exodus back to their home states along with all the orange juice and toilet paper their motorhomes can carry.
We are blessed with the serene beauty of Florida spring knowing that our roadways will be nearly empty in the coming weeks and that for one brief moment, the state is ours to enjoy. It is normally in these moments that we are torn, conflicted, forced to see the glass as empty, yet nearly full. Spring is blooming everywhere and the sun shines brightly, yet the pollen coats the skin and eyes, the walls and the cars as if Mother Nature herself is coughing out against all humanity. Sneezes abound, and red-eyes galore.
We feel the beauty of warm days and cool nights, yet we know that the scorching oppressive heat of summer is putting on its makeup just off stage left awaiting our demise when it barrels from the heavens with boiling steering wheels and skyrocketing air conditioning bills. We will prevail, we always do, but what about the characters in our works in progress? Will they survive their own dilemmas long enough to enjoy the fruits of our labor, or will they need to turn inward for some serious soul searching before finally being free?
As Mental March draws to a close, we’re taking a look at the “dilemma”, “the choice”, or the “moment of tearing,” within ourselves and namely our creations. Our characters tend to be reflections of ourselves or people we know, we get inside their heads and force them into positions most people would never find themselves in normally as we test strengths and drives of each one to continue the quest, the adventure, the story. It’s our lot in life to drive wedges into their lives and to nitpick them on all levels mentally, physically, and emotionally. We love it, our readers do too!
No written piece of fiction is complete without the dilemma, the big choice, the moment we see characters bend like a reed or snap and fly off into the sky, their breaking point if you will. How mentally strong our characters are, and the obstacles they face inside and out are a writer’s playground and there are no rules when it comes to destroying or lifting up a character. We’ve all read about them, we’ve all seen them. Run left or run right? Chose the vampire or the wolf? Save others, save yourself? Do you go, do you stay? All show that a writer is trying at least to get inside a character’s mind, to force them into making a decision and it should always be something we strive to include in our own work. People love a good dilemma, a hard choice, an obstacle that carries emotional burdens when it comes to characterization, heck most of us are already these people in waiting within our adult lives, heck most of us just secretly hope a ghostwriter chooses for us.
In your writing, are your characters clones of people you know, or yourself? Are they fully fleshed out or so simple they appear as cardboard cutouts across your envisioned world? Do they have hopes and dreams, fears and regrets that bound them to earth, but still need to make tough choices or bad decisions to rise above it all? The mind is a veritable well of useful tips and tricks to incorporate into our work, choose wisely or throw darts at a list of mental issues, it’s all good, and will be when you allow yourself to venture inside the mind, theirs and yours. 😉
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 29th entry!-
Photo Credit: Symbiosis. Kylli Sparre-July 23, 2015.