Sunday, October 4, 2009
Workin' The Blog Chain
It's my turn again on the blog chain, and my predecessor Sandra has posed an interesting question to us all:
What kind of journeys do your characters make? What effects do they have on the characters and the plot? Also (if you wish), please tell us about one of your personal journeys and how it changed you.
Well, this is difficult for me to answer. Because I write by the seat of my pants, I generally have a very rough idea (or no idea at all) of where my characters are going to go. I sit back and watch them walk through it, and they change (or strive against changing) as time goes by. Ideas come to me at odd times, and not usually fleshed out very well. I am working on my characterization tools all the time however, because I'd like to be the writer that at least has a decent idea of where I'm going.
In a paranormal story I'm working on, Kris is a 20-something who has no ambition, no goals, and nothing he has to do. He possesses abilities that set him above the rest of humanity, and he's learned to look down on them with disdain. Then Mara enters his life and he is catapulted into a world he didn't know existed. The cocky over-confident man he thought he was is gone, to be replaced by a scared young soul without a clue what to do.
The interesting part about the above tale was I really started it out with no destination in mind. The story has formed on its own, and Kris is finding his way and developing as a character minute by minute. The plot has changed with the introduction of Mara, and Kris becoming aware of just how fragile his life is. It's something I did not expect when I started the story, but it's been fun to explore.
I'm definitely one of those people who believe in the positive effects that come from traveling to other cultures. I've had the luck to journey to a few countries outside of the US, and each time I found myself forever altered in some way. Preconceived notions that I had before either get confirmed or changed by the things I see and the people I meet. For example, I was never of the opinion that I could be truly awestruck by anything religious. I'm not an overly religious man, and although I believe in God, I hadn't felt any breathtaking experiences.
Then I went to Germany and had the opportunity to walk through some of the most beautiful churches I've ever seen. One could argue that the building of the church was done by man, but I would argue back that you can see the majesty of God through the beauty of these edifices. His touch upon the builder's soul is what has allowed such majestic buildings to be created. Touching the ancient stone, standing before a crypt that held bishops from the 1400s, letting my eyes linger over archways and iconic windows - all of these things together left me awestruck in a deep way.
Travel has always affected me this way, particularly when I talk to people and get a glimpse of life through their eyes. As a writer, I hope I can bring that majesty and significance to my characters as well.
If you didn't get a chance to read Sandra's post yet, you can find it here. Kat is all set to follow me on the chain.