Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tuesday's Writer's Tip inspired by John Gardner - People #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #John Gardner #Writing #People

Once again, I'm taking my inspiration from this post from On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner. When I first read this book many years ago, I underlines passages that spoke of things I knew I must hone to become a writer. There are many passages.

Novels must have characters. Learning how to make characters come to life is vital. One of these is to become a people watcher. That's something I did as a child. I just enjoyed watching people and even interacting with strangers. Observine people when I was a nurse gave me the chance to see people at their best and their worst, at times when life seemed too much. Watching different people react to a similar situation showed me ways people expressed emotions. This later flowed into my writing. Not just a characters physical presence is important. I've been accused of not describing my characters bodies with enough detail. What ahs always mattered to me is their reactions and actions to a situation.

So to become a novelist, a love of language is important but so are the people in the story. Watch people and put what you see in the bank for a later use. You might even be accused of spying on these people. I have been, even when I was a child.

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1 comment:

Reed Stirling said...

Another interesting way in which writers can draw out their characters is by hearing how they talk. How they express themselves. What expressions they might use and repeat. What idiosyncrasies they might exhibit as dialogue or interior monologue develops. Malapropisms? Mannerisms? So not just whaat they say, but how they say it.