Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Inspirations based on Bird By Bird

Running behind today and not sure why since the sun is shining. Butthe chapter I read form Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott is on plot. I'm sort of sideways to her take. She feels plot stems from characters and their interactions. While I partially agree, I also look at plot as a series of events where characters act and interact. My plots aren't driven by the characters but the plots don't drive the characters. To have a plot you need need people with desires. That's a point of agreement. Plot can be choosing the incidents and what drives the characters. As she says these do become more defined as you get to know the characters.

Another point where we agree is learning what the characters desire most in life. But for me that is a goal I've given them and not one they've given to themselves. Characters are bits and pieces of ourselves, people we know or have read about or even total inventions.

Even using the same characters with the same desires ten or twenty writers will come up with as many different stories. That's the beauty of being a writer, making the story into our vision.

Anne Lamott says some people know the climax of their stories before they begin and others don't. This is the time when one of the characters dramatically changes. I definitely agree and I;m one of those people who generally knows the end before I begin the beginning,

The point of this whole thing is not to get so involved in developing the story that you forget the characters but don't get so involved in the characters that you have a story going nowhere.

1 comment:

Wendy S Marcus said...

Hi Janet!
One of the first writing tip I learned is the characters must drive the story.

When I write I have a general idea of where I want my story to go. How I get there unfolds each day.