Monday, November 22, 2010

Words are magical

"Movie makers have it easy, it seems. To convey an emotional tone they have sets, lighting, props, music and the ability to show the foreground action and the background action."
- Every Picture Has a Story, WOW 
And so do the writers. We have words to light the scene, to set the tone, to add music and props... we make the story move fast by using verbs, or slow it down, calm and gently, to a nice, slow pace by using the versatile and descriptive adjectives... Words have color, tone and pictures. War is a hard and red word, death final and dark... love is a soft and pink word, dog happy and blue and brown, like little boys, frogs and carpenter pants. You can see the freckles, old straw hat and fishing rod, even when today they seldom exist. The dog has brown spots and it jumps around the boy and laughs, with tongue hanging out.
As Stephen King says, we are magicians working with telepathy all the time...

The article about symbolism is very interesting and inspiring. It made me think about how I could use symbols in writing, the magic and power of words, and seeing my work a little more like the work of the director and editor of a movie. Thank you, Patricia, for leading me to it :-)

Among the things she posted were Jane Friedman's There Are No Rules about query letters
and The Dreaded Rewrite, which I suppose I should be doing with my NaNo. I have started writing the story, got to the middle, introduced all the characters and I have outlined the end, but I don't know how to lead the beginning to the end, because I hate my stupid (yeah, she's dumb as a boot) MC, and cannot find one reason why my male lead would find her in any way attractive. Except that she's not uglier than any other woman, but my male lead isn't stupid, so he isn't shallow either. *sigh*
So - I just need to brighten her up a bit and make her a little more likable... perhaps she could have a soft spot in her heart to alley cats and kids, or something. Stand by the soup kitchen once a week and feed children... like she has asked the local public school if she may borrow their kitchen at weekends so that the kids who have nothing could come and at least have one warm meal in their tummies every day, or something.


Hart Johnson said...

Maybe she's just ACTING dumb--maybe she is actually a SPY with a vested interest in being underestimated! That's too funny though... dumb as a boot. I laughed out loud. I periodically have dumb side characters, and sometimes they steal the scene, but any MC acting dumb is usually doing so because of some misconception... they've been trained wrong or made a bad assumption... You'll sort it out!

Helena said...

What makes story telling easier (which is really what novel writing is all about) is when the MC becomes so real she takes over and does things you don't expect. But getting to that stage is really tough.

Ketutar said...

Trained wrong... yep... I suppose she isn't that dumb, really, just ignorant and stubbornly hanging on what she thinks she knows, which, of course, is almost all wrong... and if she just trusted her feelings and inner voice, everything would be fine... *sigh*

I don't want to give her to my hero :-D

Ketutar said...

Yes, Helena... Which happens constantly to my hubby and he just writes and then tells me excited what just happened in his story, as if it were a tv show :-D Lovely :-)

Someone at NaNoWriMo was ranting about us being in control and that the story is not real and the characters are not real, we have invented every word, we decide what happens, not the characters, and was met with heavy opposition telling him that if he creates the characters and forces them to do what he decided they were supposed to be doing, his characters would be stick figures... :-D