Anne, Eight in the Morning

Characters

I was reading through the blog yesterday, and Rafa’s post titled “I’m a Telepath.”

It made me a little nostalgic thinking back to when I first began writing actual stories and not inane mommy-please-stick-this-on-the-fridge childish babble.

My love affair with stories began early. My need to write down my own came almost immediately after.

But, I never saw myself as a storyteller. That was the last thing I wanted to be, especially at those sleepovers and things kids/teens do. You know the ones where everyone sits in a circle and with shiny, sleep deprived, sugar-high eyes and freshly painted nails, and take it in turns to tell a story?

When it got around to my turn to narrate what the starry-eyed one in the group would insist “has to be romantic.”

And the one full of false bravado would yell “No! Make it gruesome.”

I would “WTF?” a bit in my head, and refuse.

“Story-telling is not a game.” I would want to intone in a deep, throaty voice, from way up there on my magical literary high horse. “It’s… It’s just not making shit up for giggles and sighs. And by the by, oh starry-eyed one, you’re not fooling anyone with your sudden interest in romance. We all know you’re crushing bad on the guy who hangs around outside school pretending to be cooler than he is. OK, so maybe all of us don’t know, and even your BFF who is dating him doesn’t know. But I know, because you just happen to have casually mentioned him at least sixty times in passing, and you sort of twitch when you do.”

When I got home with my nails a lovely shade of burgundy, I’d write a story outline where an average looking guy remains oblivious to how much his girlfriend’s best friend secretly loves him. He can’t help being oblivious though, because his girlfriend is all sorts of pretty, and exploding fireworks in the oral sex department, and that, along with his permanent stash of weed, keeps him firmly in la-la-land.

His girlfriend on the other hand is so madly in love with him, she’s mentally already fixed a wedding date and named their three future babies (Dick, Van, and Dyke) even though she’s fifteen. Apparently, her parent’s near to perfect marriage influenced her more than it should have and she wants the idyllic fairy-tale life daddy gave mommy. Her heart is in the future, her body in the present, and her mind swings back and forth between future and present so quickly it eventually becomes disoriented and damaged. She marries her boyfriend (now all clean and spruced) when she’s nineteen, has four kids instead of three (they name the last one Sebastian Archibald, which drives the kid to leave home at age sixteen and legally change his name).

As for the best friend. She gets over her crush, faces a few years of similar rejection with some more unavailable guys, till her college history professor points out how humans are suckers for repeating their mistakes. The girl falls madly in love with him, twitches her way through all his lectures, and tries to let him know her feelings by dotting her ‘i’s’ with tiny hearts in assignments and term papers.

But the professor remains oblivious (duh), and one day he kills himself after discovering his wife of twenty years has been cheating on him for twenty years.

The girl is devastated. She plods along for the rest of the term alone and filled with much too much confusion. She eventually finds a little peace by becoming a vegan.

As you can see, plots are not my strong point.

But plots are important in stories. So, write them I must. And, I do that with my characters, because if I spend all my time thinking up oh so clever plots, I’d want to shoot myself in the head.

I do not like thinking up plots. Although, I do envy those geniuses who seem to so effortlessly do it.

In fact, if I actually do think of a super-spectacular plot for my story, the story immediately dies in my brain and I can’t write it. And believe me, that is not a good thing for a writer to have happening in their head.

So, I like to make my characters find their own plots. I like to get into their skin and find what makes them tick, think, act, react, behave like sons of bitchy bastards, or even saintly nuns yearning to be vagabonds.

For me it’s all about the characters in a story. It’s why I love reading, it’s what keeps me glued to a book. I rarely care if the story I’m reading wraps up with a nice red multi-orgasmic bow in the end.

Who cares about the end? It’s the journey. It’s those guys and gals in there holding my mind and heart captive like they’re doing right now in a story here on this very blog.

Characters.

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Strong, weak, good, bad, idiotic, awesome or whatever. I firmly believe they are what make or break a story, and I will defend that point to the death, and even mud wrestle over it.

It’s where I keep most of my focus when I write, and the more I write characters, the more I find that when they are strong enough, the story plot becomes solid if not bearable. The characters ensure the plot develops, not the caffeine-high writer.

If you’re new to my work and plan to read my stories, it’s what you can expect from me. I don’t play by the “start, middle, and finish” rule, or the “plot is everything and the character must start at the start and go to the end of it the proper way” rule either.

But then, when it comes to writing, I seldom play by any rules.

And, that my friends, wraps up my morning ramble.

Thank you for coming back and reading. The next chapter for Desconocido will be up soon, so stay tuned.

I hope you all are enjoying the blog. If anyone is having problems accessing posts or pages, please email us on derangedwriters@gmail.com and let us know.

 Much love,

Anne

©Anne J. Dias – 2013

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16 thoughts on “Characters”

  1. Oh Anne I had discovered that your stories is more about the character long ago when I first read mystic skies. Back the it was difficult to understand but after a couple of chapters and letting myself engrossed in you characters I started enjoying the story more.

    Thanks for such extra ordinary writtings. I am a huge fan of your work.

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  2. Every writer has their style and yours is absolutely uniquely just yours …
    Have read Mystic Skies , the Chains series , Ne’re the Rose … and really looking forward to the new one that you have started …

    Just love your work … Thanks Anne …

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  3. You are a wonderful writer and have read mystic, chains , ne’er , dance . I find your writing includes all the emotions whether it be romance or suspense or thrill and so on . Your characters in each of the stories I have read have been well defined, their character defines what they are and the way they behave . I have yet to read all the stories on deranged , will do it over the weekend . I haven’t read much work of the other authors but am eager to read their stories .The best have come together .

    Thank you all the authors for your efforts .

    – N

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  4. For NtR, I mentioned how I find your characters very precious, as they seem very rare. After reading this, I think the reason I find them so rare is because I rarely read about characters (and character development? is that a proper way to describe it?) where there is so much focus put into the character itself, rather than the plot, and the eventual “goal” towards the end.
    Also, I don’t know how to explain this, but it makes perfect sense in my head right now. There is so much that “real life characters” do and think, but when it comes down to stories, characters seem sort of perfect, or shown as completely “wrong”. But everyone has those a million perfects and wrongs in them, and the focus on characters is so less sometimes that we never get to relate them with real people.
    Okay that came out all messy.
    Completely agree with the “journey”!

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  5. If everyone played by the rules, there won’t be any change and even rules are meant to be changed as per the times.

    Agree with you that journey is also more enjoyable than reaching the destination because journeys are interesting, unpredictable and adventurous.

    Looking forward to read your character take their lives through an eventful course/journey.

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  6. Out of all the ramble, what came out to me the most was –

    ©Anne J. Dias – 2013

    This gives me immense pleasure honey (and I have a big wide smile), I cant even say how much! Wish to see this one day, on one of your books when I buy it, or if you are kind enough to send me a signed copy!

    Now back to your ramble, even your ramble gives me inspiration. I think you are right, writing a plot is very important, but to carry a story forward is no small feat if the characters dont gel together in your head or on paper. Like you said, you have to make them see sense, scold them, love them, etc etc. to mold them in whatever you have thought about them. I wish I could do all that, because I struggle so much to keep it going. I knew your writing was different for a reason (from the time I first time read your story), that reason itself is the journey you make us go through, yes it can be emotionally draining at times, to read your stories, because each and every one tugs at your heart, makes us pull our hair out in frustration at times, but well its not worth it if the story doesnt do that, isnt it? A story is a journey that pulls you in so much, that you see yourself living through all of it, in the words written in front of you. So yeah, thats you! And its so very worth it, at the end!

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  7. Sigh…. I have no intelligent response to this. But I will say this, I started my love affair with the written word such a long time ago that now it seems that it has been a part of me all my life. I want to thank writers like yourself out there who diligently and dedicatedly feed my addiction.

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  8. Aha after reading your other work, I can surely agree u don’t follow the traditional plot path of beginning, middle and end..which I love! It’s the characters that shape the story in such a fascinating way, they have so m at layers and depth to them, I wonder where you get such clever ideas from?!
    Looking forward to your and the other authors here work! 😀

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  9. Oh finally!

    Of all the things and the words you weave, I always wondered how you created this magic. The thought process , the technique always fascinated me , even to a degree of pure reverence. There is a way you envisage your characters, they connect because they are not only real but there is a tone to their every action, there are layers to the most congenial pawn in the your stories. It’s like you create them and let them live their life. It’s fascinating how much your characters breathe. They capture human emotions and somewhere those emotions have their own journey. Sometimes I wondered how real they become in your head, their turmoil always makes me wonder just for how much pain you went through writing it emotionally. There were times when I felt you were high on bourbon as a smirk sat on your face while your eyes captured the journey of your characters. There is always an underlining message, a thought which reflects on the kind of person you are. Like an artist leaves his signature to this masterpiece , I sometimes catch a shade of you in your work. Ok , scratch that, might just have been me too high on your work.

    Anne, thanks for sharing this, just made me feel more connected to your work. Always a pleasure to fangirl about you. Just dazzling how your characters impact on our lives. They tend to live with us too!

    love and the hugs , my Dearest!

    P.S. Would be interesting to know what fiction characters influenced you !

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dick, Van and Dyke – lol.
    Am fascinated by the the creative energy of writers – where do the stories, dialogues, characters come from – and so appreciated you sharing this with us.

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  11. Anne, where do you get so much energy from? Touch wood.
    Sometimes I imagine that your brain is like a hot bubbling volcano. Buzz Thoughts Buzz Characters Buzz Ramblings Buzz Stories Buzz. And whoosh it explodes and there comes forth your new tale. Woah! Along with you we go all buzz and crazy and drained (believe there was a time when it was emotionally draining to read Chains) and when we finally reach the climax of your stories it seems like we have lived with those characters and they start meaning something to us. Journeys of a lifetime. That’s what your stories are!

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  12. Anyone whose read your stories know how much importance you give to each individual character in the story and that is why your readers love your stories all the more.
    I’ve gotten to know more about that when I was reading the chains series.

    i’ll be trying my best to read and comment on all the stories in this blog. it is such a wonderful experience 🙂

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  13. I found you at Storm, and then Sadist, and the rest of them followed. I fell in love with you instantaneously, and as you probably recall, was far more keen on saving my ass (you were always, provoked), then originating opinions on how you should write, or rewrite the stories that only came into existence through you in the first place … so, as far as I’m concerned, kudos, and count me along for the ride!

    Crap, I’ve missed so much … and I’ve gained weight since my bouncing decreased … back to it!

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  14. You are one amazing writer. I came across Mystic skies and I was hooked. I got a chance to read a few chapters of Chains of Silver & 3 yrs later.

    The way you weave the Character and the surroundings and bring the emotions out are on the dot. Hope to catch on more.

    Just love the way you present each situation.

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