A Taste of the Dream

Happy Bank Holiday Monday people! For me it was.  Today I got a little taste of the life I dream of.  

I would like to be a writer and work from home.  Today I was fortunate enough to have a holiday while nobody else in my family did.  I took my son to school in the morning, played with my daughter for a bit and carried on with the mundane – housework etc. before delivering my daughter to nursery in the afternoon.  Then, came the unusual part – two whole hours to myself.  

You may remember one of my earlier posts, in which I cited Brendan O’Carroll’s advice that you should get to know your characters by writing 20 pages or so about them.  So, that’s what I did.  I’m not at 20 pages yet but I started writing about my main character’s past and I loved it.  I enjoyed the feeling of creation but oddly it felt like I was getting to know someone that already exists.  I will definitely carry on with this method and repeat it wherever necessary.  I want to know my characters inside out before I participate in NaNoWriMo in November.  I would recommend this method.  

Anyway, I digress.  The purpose of this post was to put in writing how this taster felt.  It felt good.  It has revived my goal and gave me an extra boost to achieve it.  No more thinking I’m too tired and it’s too late to write now after I have given mundane tasks my attention.  Lunch breaks will be more productive for me too and any other time I can squeeze writing in, I will.  I want to make this happen.  I will make this happen.

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Character Building

The plot versus character debate has raged for years – i.e which is most important.  Personally, I always felt they were on equal footing but I’ve since realised that I haven’t been putting my belief into practice.  When writing my short stories, I have been putting all my focus on storylines rather than the characters.  I guess it is more difficult to develop characters for short stories;  after all, the reader is not going to stick with them for long.  However, I learned a lesson from an unlikely source.  I have been reading the authorised biography of Brendan O’Carroll (of Mrs Brown fame) and he relayed a piece of advice he learned from somewhere – write a character synopsis of around 20 pages long (per main character) to really get to know your characters.  I don’t think I will be adopting this method for my short story characters but today I started this process for my novel characters.  I still have a long way to go but I feel it will help.  At this stage, I am still working on my short story development rather than a novel but I don’t feel it will do any harm to set the foundations.  If anything, it is giving me experience of character building, both for my novel and my own personal development 🙂