When Desires Change Mid Draft

Lately, I’ve been on a journey to explore and grow my intentions around writing… #writerslife #authordnc

Lately, I’ve been on a journey to explore and grow my intentions around writing. When I started blogging to now, I’ve wanted to share lessons learned from wedding planning to life crises. The stories I’ve told and feedback I’ve received have solidified that I was made to tell genuine stories.

So I stretched my storytelling further when I published my first book, Untraditional: A Collection of Passion-Fy Short Stories. I was satisfying one of those “I really wish” dreams that I spoke of in college so when I looked back on all the words that I had written to date, I couldn’t believe that it was a dream destined to come true.

When I quietly published my second book, Like. Love. Lust., I wanted to give a piece of me. Something that the first fantasy romance didn’t dive into, even though it took several debates to convince my family and friends so…even my grandfather questioned the details. People forget that I’m an only child — to my mother at least — and my imagination has always been on like 100,000. But Like. Love. Lust. was a reflection of the rollercoaster of emotions that I went through on my journey to learn love. A path that was rough and reckless at times, but that taught me more about the woman I was and wanted to be.

Now, as I work on my third piece, I know how it started off in my mind but now my soul desires to switch gears.

It’s the continuation of the short story The Robinsons’, from Untraditional, that takes leads you down a path with Nia after an unforgettable encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. Nia is introduced to her new self. More aware of her desires. More open to all possibilities but none that she desires to stick. Just living for each moment.

As I edit my story, I’ve gotten to certain parts where I understand that this or that character plays such an important part to how she will or will not take her next steps and I owe their presence more explanation. But wait…this was supposed to be like a straight passion-fy tale of like, love and lust?

I’m discovering that this piece is taking so long because the message that I want you, my readers to receive is much deeper than just those simple emotions. When I coined the term passion-fy, I even included the descriptor of “intensely emotional characters” so why have I tried to pigeonhole myself to three?

So I won’t anymore. I desire to give you the novel that I’m thinking about now in hopes that you not only understand Nia complex and emotional plight but how her mother, friends, The Robinsons, co-workers and all are as passionate as she is.

Thanks for being patient with me…

With passion,

DNC

Oh, and if you want to want to get a taste of how the story starts off…mind you a very rough draft of it…check out The Teaser post. Leave some feedback while you’re there too. I would love to hear what you think. 

#Writerslife Techniques for creating a character who is “nothing like you”

I ran into this great article about different techniques to try in creating a character you are not. Advice given from Terry McMillan, best-selling author of Waiting to Exhale, is broken down into some digestible and doable tricks.

Here are a few excerpts that grabbed my attention. Check out the full article, How to Write a Character Who is Nothing Like You, on The Write Practice.


Empathize

To write in the mind of a rich nine-year-old boy when you are a working-class thirty-year-old woman, you need a certain degree of empathy.

What would a young boy spend his days thinking about?  What would cause him to worry? How much knowledge would he have about the people and things with which he interacts?

You don’t need to know what his experience is like if you allow yourself to literally imagine how it feels to walk in his shoes (and sleep in his bed and eat his breakfast and watch his TV shows).

Listen

How can a twenty-something white man write dialogue for an elderly Chinese woman? Simple. By listening.

Pay close attention to the people around you at your job, on the train or in the supermarket.  When you find someone in your character’s demographic, listen to how he or she speaks.  Notice to whom that person is talking (does the speech change when she speaks to someone else?).

Then use what you have heard in your writing.

Fill Out a Job Application on Behalf of Your Character (MY FAVORTIE TAKAWAY)

Terry McMillan said she knows everything about her characters before she starts writing.  It began when she grabbed a job application from a local establishment and then filled out on behalf of her characters—full name, date of birth, work experience, strengths and weakness.

Over time she added more and more questions to the list—does the character pay her taxes on time?  Does she believe in abortion?

Only a small portion of these details ever made into her novels, but she knew everything she possibly could about the characters she created.

By answering these basic questions on behalf of your characters, you will develop a clearer idea about who they are as people before you start writing.  They may be nothing like you, but after engaging in this practice you will at least know who they are.

Ask yourself, what is your character’s worst childhood memory?  What is her favorite movie?  Did she ever have a bad break up?