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Posts Tagged ‘back story’

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get bored. I get bored with doing the same thing over and over again, just like a get bored with listening to the same type of music over and over again. So the other day, while I was listening to the same songs for the thousandth time, I decided I needed a change. Not just a new artist kind of change, but an entirely new view type of change. The result? I came across Spanish pop singer Alejandro Sanz. Now, my Spanish skills are minimal at best, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the unique sound of his voice and inflections within it. The visual wasn’t too bad either. I normally am not a fan of tattoos, but on the right guy…:) Anyway, music is a universal language for a reason. Instruments, chords, keys are the same in all of them. Also, living in the most connected age in history makes it easy for someone like to me to go and look up the lyrics to his music in English so I have some clue what is being said.

But I’m really enjoying this. A whole ‘nother world of artists has been opened up to me. People I can learn something from in more than one way. First I have the message of the lyrics, then there are the way things are phrased. I have heard many times that English isn’t as easy to write in because it’s not as “flexible” as other languages. On top of that, it gives me a chance to brush up on my high school and college Spanish. Something that is very rusty. All this is very important to me, especially when it comes to my writing. I think it’s easy for writers, especially those who speak only one language, to write from that one view. But, if I have a bi-lingual character whose upbringing was mixed, or a character that embraces their ancestors culture, knowing things like the pop artists and at least bits and pieces of the language can really help in creating an authentic character. Not some stereo-type that no one connects to. Right now I’m working on a story in which on of my main characters is Hispanic. So right now I’m trying to create his personality and find out who he is. I think exposing myself more to this culture will really help me shape who him.

So tell me, what do you to when you need a change of perspective when creating a character? Let me know in the comments below.

Now enjoy this video of Alejandro Sanz while I find my pencil. ūüėČ

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Scorpius

So I’ve been re-working my novel.¬† Going back over it chapter by chapter.¬† Currently, I’m editing/revising/rewriting chapter three.¬† Originally in this chapter, my MC overhears a conversation between one of my protagonists and the leading female.¬† Well, in the changes I made to the beginning chapters and the way my ending chapters stand, this scene just didn’t work anymore.¬† So, in an effort to salvage as much of the chapter as I could, I changed the circumstances in which my MC overhears the conversation and now, instead of just overhearing it, he actually participates by killing the “bad guys” off.

The problem with this, is the original protagonist in the scene is suppose to reappear in the next book, plus he’s suppose to be something of a bad ass because he’s the leader of the demon world, so my story would definitely fall dead if he died within the first three chapters of my first novel.

To fix this I inserted two lower ranked demons who had no names, but as I continued to write, one of my no-name demons morphed on me.¬† Suddenly, he wasn’t just an evil hench-demon, he had a name, Scorpius, and distinct powers.¬† In fact, as I continued to write, he revealed he actually knew my MC before this and used that knowledge to inform the reader of how “soft” my MC is, despite my MC’s unparalleled dislike for demons.

Now my manuscript has me wondering how Scorpius knows Azrael and, what happened when they met before?

But for now these answers can wait; although it wouldn’t hurt to write another back story.

Has your manuscript suddenly introduced someone or something new?  Did it make your manuscript better, or just create bigger mess to clean up afterward?

It seems I’ve lost my pencil, excuse me while I look for it.

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I’ve been working on the back story of one of my many mc’s and have enjoyed the way new layers have emerged and storylines unfolded. Really getting to know your¬†mc and ultimate story he or she has to tell really helps navigate where you are going overall. Just after I completed this exercise, I knew exactly how many chapters I would have when I finished and how many sequels I wanted and needed.¬† I even have the themes and motives of the antagonist.

Knowing your mc also gives you a better idea and understanding of how the other characters parallel or juxtapose your character and his/her overall attitudes and opinions.

Yesterday, while writing I created a new scene with my mc on the spot.¬† I was having trouble connecting the scenes in my chapter and I realized it was because I needed to add another.¬† Sort of a transition scene.¬† I haven’t quite finished writing it yet, but I really like the way this scene shows a softer side to my mc and makes the next half of the chapter more believable.¬† At the same time, the small character’s back story hints at my mc’s past, while foreshadowing future events in the novel.

But, the title of my blog isn’t how to make your scenes connect, it’s Back story and What It Reveals About You.¬† So what does this minute character and my mc have in common?¬† The answer is me.¬† While writing the scene I gave the smaller character many of my same traits.¬† He’s shy, soft-spoken and struggles with self-esteem.¬† The reasons why¬†he acquired these traits are different¬†from my¬†own, but he has them nonetheless.¬†¬†

After writing this character I realized every back story and event leading up to the¬†last showdown was a reflection of myself.¬† Every one of these characters¬†is me.¬† Some of them represent how I feel, or how I’ve felt, while others actually reflect real events that have happened in my life and still others represent the goals I would like to achieve.¬†

Are they exact replicas?¬† No.¬† I’m writing a fantasy YA novel.¬† But without¬†consciously sitting down and writing it out, I have told my life story and revealed the traits I value most.¬† Some of which I didn’t even realize until I started this brain teasing adventure.

I have long heard the phrase write what you know.¬† Many writers have attacked this advice siting fantasy and mystery novels to back their case.¬† To them I would say they have missed the point.¬†¬† I didn’t write a play by-play of my life and my novel is a fantasy, but at the end of the day the story I have written¬†is the one I already know.¬† Just dressed up a little a more and with a few demons here and there.¬†¬†

I will never  know what it would be like to gather the souls of the dead, but I do know what it feels like to be isolated and alone.  The rest is research ;p

Oops, my pencil just rolled off the desk.  Please excuse me while I go and find it.

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