Happy New Year!
I know, I know -- I’m a late with this, but it’s still heartfelt and real, and I believe the year is still young enough to say it with validity. J
In our neck of the woods we’re enjoying a great deal of snow at the moment. Something that doesn’t happen all too often in this high desert. In spite of the difficulties considerable snowfall can present, I LOVE IT! I love sharing the anticipation and excitement I see in my children, (though they are taller than I am now), at the chance of a snow day. I love the feeling of well-being that accompanies the lovely snow covered view outside the window of my toasty warm kitchen. I love how I can check the horses out back without benefit of artificial light at one in the morning. And on a practical note, we haven’t had a decent rain in months so all this moisture is a very, very good thing.
We have a good sized wood stove that has been stoked constantly for the last several days. While sitting there I starting thinking about the characters in my WIP, as though they were real people, something I find myself doing on a regular basis. I tend to set my stories in desert regions, because that’s where I live. Then I realized I mostly set them in times of year where the weather is the kindest, Spring and Fall, because I don’t’ want my people to be miserably hot or cold. Crazy, huh? Just goes to show you how REAL your characters can become to you.
I give them a break in the personal comfort area, but I’m pretty mean when it comes to their personal conflict. Makes me sound like a masochist, but I believe in the adage I learned from a wise and dear old man years ago, “The truth will set you free -- but first you gotta’ suffer.” And suffer they do. The thing is, the more our characters suffer through their conflicts, the more they learn, and the sweeter the reward in the end. That’s what we all want from our “satisfying endings,” right? I still have a ways to go with the inflicting of suffering.
J.R. Ward, ( one of my favs) is superb at yanking her characters through the proverbial keyhole. Her folks go through hell and back before they get their happy ending, and boy, by the time they get there, you are jumping up and down for them because they absolutely deserve the goods!
So I continue to work toward that goal – to be a tougher task master with my characters! What are you focusing on with your writing? Leave a comment, tell me about one of your writing goals.
‘Til next time,
Stay warm, and dry.