Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 56 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis

What Are My Feelings On Blog Hops?

All righty then...Here's another one where the old guy (see the picture on the left) gets to admit he's still catching up with the terminology never mind the technology. My first feeling was, "So what the hell's a blog hop?" Then I did what anyone with opposable thumbs and a passing acquaintance with personal computers would do, I Googled the term. That done my revised feeling is now, "Just thrilled...I guess?"
So let's talk about character development. Very often I find myself fishing around for something to write about, or I have an the broadest sense of the word...but no characters to populate it.Or perhaps I see someone on the street, in a movie, or somewhere in the little television I watch, and they strike a chord. Maybe it's even someone in the background, almost, but not quite, lost.For that brief moment there's something about their appearance or mannerisms that catches the artist in me. What is this person's demeanor? How would their speech patterns reflect that? Where would someone who spoke like that come from or live now? Who are that persons peers?
As the last question comes in it becomes a matter of deciding alliances and conflicts. Who does the first character relate to and why? Is he/she a leader or follower? What is the price of admission to that person's confidence? By now my character notebook is out and I am trying to put flesh to this skeleton. What are the idiosyncracies this person displays? What kind of environment would this person inhabit? Is it safe or is it a constant challenge to survive? If it is the first, what would shift it in to the second and how would that person handle it? If it is the second, what survival mechanisms had to be adopted to make it through the day to day?
By now I have started to get emotionally invested in the construct. This is good because it is emotion that drives any story and gets the reader to come along for the ride and there lies the next question. Do I actually care about this character? If not, what will get me over that barrier? If I do will a reader feel the same way or have I taken off down a road that is so hyper-personal that, like it or not, it's going to be just me and the character in the end? Before I know it this hologram is walking around in my mind, inhabiting my thoughts in a near tangible form.
What I'm driving at here is simple. You can have the greatest plot, setting and mood ever, but it is still going to be your characters and how much you truly understand what makes them tick that's going to make the story. It is going to be your ability to get the reader to actually invest emotional worth that is going to lift your writing above the mass. Yup, action will keep it moving but the characters are what make it moving.
Accepting short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Nope, still no pay, just glorious exposure! You can send your work to me via e-mail at Authors retain all rights. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog. There are gadgets for that on the right side of this page. I love the company and it helps with the search engine ranking. Comments, critiques, and questions are always answered in as timely a manner as I can manage between my day job, writing, studies, blah, blah, blah. There's a form at the bottom of the page for your use.
In the meantime,, love, write.
Dane F. Baylis

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