Monday, August 15, 2011

The Unexpected

Writing, like life, needs to have a few unexpected twists and turns.

Like life, the characters in your novels need to have a few surprises. Characters need to be upset or overcome or completely shocked by something.

Say... for example... that your character is having a pretty normal day, changed a few nasty diapers but all in all was pretty much going about her day when she got home to discover that the dog had completely gone all upset-stomach all over the kitchen floor.

See? Unexpected.

Then say, for example, that your character spends the next hour sanitizing every single tile on the floor and is so covered in the stench of antibacterial spray that she can barely breathe, much less cook dinner for her family. She's tired, she's grouchy and she's about to either make the dog an outside-only mutt or find a new home for him somewhere where there are lots of kitchen tiles that no one cares about so he can get all upset-stomach on every day without getting in trouble. So, her husband takes her and their baby out for dinner.

Again. Unexpected. But this time, in a good way. :)

Like life, your characters need to feel emotion - they need to be shocked, sad, confused, angry. But don't just tell it - show it. How do you act when you're upset? How do you behave when you're tired? Do you ever snap a short, sarcastic reply when someone asks the wrong question at the wrong time?

Writing, like life, needs to be full of life. And life abundant.

And as for the dog, I am still deciding whether or not to let him back into my good graces. Maybe once the scent of sanitizer fades from my hair. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. Ohmygoodness! I thought you were just using an example! You poor thing!! lol Where'd you get dinner?