Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Journal Entry #5

(How I wish I looked while writing)

(How I actually look while writing)
I'm reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the second or third time. I'm less than a hundred pages into it and I already look forward to coming home, curling up on my bed and just delving right in. Actually, I take it to work with me so it gives me something to do while I wait for my bus. There's also something comforting about taking a book with you wherever you go. It's almost like a safeguard, but I think I just like knowing it's there, stowed away in my backpack. The weight of it is comforting.
One thing I notice a lot when I read blog posts about how to be a better writer or how o make characters better or something along those lines, one example that constantly comes up is J.K. Rowling. Whether it's her tenacity, her will power, or, more often than not, her characters themselves, there is always something to glean from her. But what I've become tired of hearing is to try and make my characters as rounded, dynamic, deep, and genuine as the ones in Harry Potter. As if it's that easy. The place I'm at right now in my writing -not in a story, but in my writing- is that no one can duplicate characters like Severus Snape, the Marauders, Harry... Faramir, Samwise, Sauron... Screwtape, Edmond, Eustace. These characters have become as real to us as characters can be. We feel we know them intimately. But I would ask that no one expect such incredible skill on my part, because I can't just twitch my nose and add more layers to characters. Do you want to know the reason I procrastinate? Why it takes me so long to write even a single paragraph? Because me knowing my characters as intimately as knowing Harry or Sam is probably more important to me than the actual story. In developing these... people, there grows an affectionate bond. I love them and I care how they react to something, how they process things, how they respond, on more than a physical level or with words, but how their mind wraps around the information and puzzles over it. 
I get the feeling I overthink the whole "writing thing" quite a bit. I read a quote the other day that said something like, "If I waited for perfection, I would never write." Still, you can feel if a character does something, well, out of character. A ding goes off in your mind and that action or sentence stays in your mind until it's explained later on.
Sorry, I'm not sure where this post went. My goal was to explain that I am no J.K. Rowling, that she is one of those beautiful people who have blessed readers with her wonderful talent and imagination. But that doesn't mean I won't try to show my characters as more than just princesses, pirates, Hunters, and Seers.


1 comment:

  1. Grace, I love your posts. Oh, how I can relate. Recently it took nearly 30 minutes for me to write one paragraph simply describing a bloody face after my protagonist kicked the character in the face. I remember spending nearly two weeks on a single scene. The scene was too bloated, too wordy, too . . . you name it. I am the poster child for perfectionism!