Wednesday, October 5, 2011

5 Reasons I Refuse to Believe Your Characters

When I blog, I tend to address areas that I struggle with the most; this blog is no exception. In the back of my mind I know that my characters are natural, normal, and identifiable. However, if I can't convey these traits to readers, my characters become irrelevant. I strive to create characters that I KNOW my readers will be able to relate to, but amidst literary rules, the pursuit of prose, and trying to progressively plot these characters can sometime become lost. Ignore me as I critique myself in an attempt to create a reference point to keep my characters pulled and snatched, LOL!

1. They rudely interrupt me...Every time I try to sketch a mental image of your character, you cut me off with a rigamarole of useless details that describe the exterior of your character, but never allowing me to draw my own conclusions. I want to empathize and relate to your character, yet you don't give me the white space to.

2. They speak excessively unnatural. If your character refers to people on every line that they speak, it's hard to trust them. They speak in florid passages in some parts of the novel; but in others, they speak broken English: confusing.

3. Emotions aren't consistently nor accurately depicted. They hate, they loathe, they despise, they covet, they desire, and they conspire, yet the only portrayal of this I read is screaming, yelling and/or crying. I want to trust it, but can't...

4. Your dialogue tags fluctuate between being cryptic and morbidly excessive. If there are only two people speaking and you continue to tag ever line of dialogue, I'm going to be offended. As a reader, I desire to be trusted--not hand-held. Conversely, if there is a room of people spatting lines at each other, unless you have colorfully explained your characters, don't think that I will be able to discern who's saying what.

5. You describe and describe your characters to me, yet you never SHOW them doing what you insist they do. If the antagonist of your book is a bossy, annoying sibling, you need not to keep telling me about it--SHOW ME. Give instances of how her behavior intersects the purpose of the protagonist. Portray her behavior SO clear that I could identify without even reading her name. THAT's a masterpiece of a character sketch.

Now get to making characters that your readers will believe in!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Creative Prayer (A Throwback)

Though my creative cognition houses a host of ideas, my ability to carry them out lays dormant. Discontentment and misery now reside where motivation and captivation should be. My mind is held hostage by the shackles of my current reality. At one time, my mind dwelled in creative ingenuity, but it has been relocated to a place of dead dreams and unfulfilled prophecies. I crave mental stimulation that would breakdown the barrier of lethargy and pessimism, and cause my creativity to protrude from within like fresh water bursting from a natural geyser. Allow the content of my mind to breed positivity and cause wayward thinking to cease. Touch my mind to the point that it would move humanity from one spectrum to another. Innovate my thinking, electrify my creative juices, and illuminate my word choice. In closing, I ask that you would guide my pen to newfound dimensions of accomplishment—laying the spawning bed for destiny and greatness to eternally consummate...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Discipline: The Dream Maker or Dream Breaker???

How monumental is it that great people have extraordinary ideas and grand visions? Actually, it's quite common. As I grow in age, I'm realizing that the veil between success and destruction is extremely thin--particularly for an undisicplined person. It's been pretty frequent that as of lately we've been seing major personalities be ostracized all due to the lack of discipline. It takes discipline to control a habit, and without consistency and discipline, even the most talented individual is putting themselve in a volatile state. This weekend, I had a chance to reflect over my life and all I could think about is this absence of total discipline. Now don't get it twsited, I am not stating that I have made a personal decree to perfection, because that would be a lie. However, I am no longer willing to miss out on success, all because I lack the ability to finish what I started. Once again, I ask how often is it that we embark on a new project or new idea; but how often do we finish them? I no longer am satisfied being a STARTER, but I vow to be a FINISHER. I vow not to get excited about even the greatest project until it is FINISHED! How shameful would it be to miss a milestone all because I lack the ability to follow through with what I started.....Just something to think about....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An Interesting Review

But of course I'm insecure...Writers block throws you so far out of the loop. It's been a minute since I've heard feedback, rejection, accolades...I'm getting used to it all....Check this review...For some reason, after this review of my work I was on CLOUD NINE! Let me know what you think!

“I looked at part of it. It's very densely written, and I thought that there was more description than you needed, and the conversation didn't sound natural. I took out most of the attributions, since there were only two people talking, and it was easy for me to tell who was saying what. (Besides, when important information is being exchanged, the attributions get in the way, and a reader can often infer from the characters' words how they are saying them.) Criticism aside, this was very engaging, well-paced, and if I didn't have so many deadlines, I would have edited the whole text (although I did read it).”

Feedback Please! J

Finding My Voice

I often ask myself, what components formulate a powerful voice? I proudly admit that I do have a powerful voice; however, it is often difficult for me to tap into my voice. Somewhere in the abyss of trying to sound intelligent, avoiding active/passive voice transgressions, attempting to lace in humor while fusing in a somewhat advanced vocabulary, I get lost. I find myself lost in transition from turning a monumental concept into a verbal or written expression. I consider my favorite musical artist Richard Smallwood. Even though I have never met him, with ease I can pinpoint ANYTHING he has written, simply based on the way the chords are voiced. This is the type of consistency I want my voice to have. I realize the more that I write, the more defined my voice will become—which is why I am writing this blurb in the first place, LOL. It also means a lot to me to have a trustworthy voice. If I DO indeed master the craft of honing in on my voice, I want the voice to be one that can be trusted. There are many voices that are cemented, but are not trustworthy (i.e. Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, Howard Stern). These individuals have huge platforms and extremely consistent voices, but the quality of the verbiage which protrudes form their voice is often condescending, misleading, and at times, deceptive. As I continue to practice on finding MY voice, I ask for any feedback that could assist me in this tedious process.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Four Years Later....

...I return. The same manuscript still lays scattered over my chocolate, plush duvet-cover. Not much has changed as I have THE greatest concept in my reach, but still lacking a finished product. Moments of accomplished valor are followed by extreme dry seasons of insecurity, doubt, and personal inhibitions. Yet, I still fight on--fighting to keep this child I have given birth to alive. Using my pencil to recussitate life into this script which has the potential to reconcile families all over the world. I've given chapters of my manuscripts to other fellow writers, readers, and editors. The feedback has been tremendous, but yet my confidence hangs in the looms. I feel like an adolescent boy scared to face the beautiful girl in math class who served as the source of his first wetdream. (Sorry for the explicit--but I'm sure you get the point) One close loved one told me, "Because you are about to delve into unchartered waters as a black male writer, you're probably a little shaky... It's easy to follow the beaten, familiar path, but tapping into those unchartered waters takes some Ca-hones! That's what's sparking the insecurity." Boy, was she ever right...I guess it's easy to accomplish things when the patent is made readily available. This journey is so tedious! Every T must be cross and every I dotted....the simplest, innocent error could land you IMMEDIATELY in the reject pile. That's a pretty heavy weight to carry at times...But yet I fight on...Wish me luck fellow writers!