By: Ren Westerman
As the title suggests, I'm feeling under the weather at the moment; however, this does not mean there is a lack of writing in my day to day life.
Once again I'm foreseeing this as more of a commentary than making a statement, so with that I invite you to a possibly interesting read, and all I've to say is, "enjoy the ride."
Let's see, I've talked about why I write, how my style of writing has changed from the past to now, and on Twitter I've thrown a few writing tips out to the viewing public along with various writing topics.
Challenge: Write some more about writing.
So while I was lying in bed all night staring at the ceiling while my stomach mimicked the mating call of the beluga whale, I had a lot of time to think about random topics. One of said topics was in regards to some of the pieces I've recently written. They haven't really been exceptionally long. To be honest I doubt any of them have reached more than 50 pages, but this doesn't mean I haven't gotten something from writing them. After thinking about it for a little bit, I came to a couple conclusions.
The first conclusion is simple and complex at the same time. The pieces I've written have all had different individual characters as the protagonist. Here's the thing, they're essentially the same character.
Now I'm not trying to get into some sort of paradox, conundrum, or anything of that sort. When I say they're the same but at the same time different, as individuals they're different characters with different backstories, different situations, different names, and traits like that. In terms of their appearance, personality, behavior, and more psychological traits, they're in essence the same. Granted their physical traits are more or less similar, but in the case of three recent pieces in particular, each character ranges in age from early teens, to late teens, to mid twenties. I'll look at this further in the second conclusion, but for now I'll clear up the first. I'm beginning to get the feeling that I've settled my mind on a particular character outline. I know what traits they'll have. I know what personality they'll have in different situations. Regardless of the age between the three stories, the character has more or less turned out the same in their particular circumstances.
The second conclusion is essentially that I've been writing one massive storyline without even realizing it. Considering how the protagonist has essentially been the same regardless of the storyline they've been placed in and that their ages have varied from story to story, I'm beginning to get the feeling that I've been trying to write the same story in different pieces.
Think about it like this. A typical character development will have something to establish who the character is. It might have something from their past to inspire their current personality or behavior. It might use something in the current situation such as a worldly event. It might have something completely different or some combination of them all. In the end, you'll usually enter a story with some idea of who a character is, and why they're intending to do what they're going to do.
I'd explain the connections between the three pieces in my mind, but I'd like to keep them as private ideas for now. The concept is vague enough at this point that I don't necessarily want it to be out in the open. I will say this however. Taking the above, into consideration, the first piece serves as the backstory, the second piece serves as the worldly events going on in the world, and the third piece serves as the character carrying out what they intend to do.
This might not make a whole lot of sense at the moment due to the ambiguity, and for that I apologize, but I'm thinking that if all goes as planned with this next piece, this post will serve as a nice reflection to see just how accurate this idea I have really is.
Now I'm not going to just end it there with a heap of unanswered questions. Instead I'll take what I've said and direct it into somewhat of an all encompassing idea.
Writers often have a niche to their writing. After finding these connection I think I've found my niche. I know what genre I want to write. I know the characters I want to write. Personally, I think it's important that writers find their niche. Writing a story is an extremely personal experience. You'll get the most out of it if you feel a personal connection to what you're writing. Having found my own niche, I might be able to get closer to my characters and better understand their developing story. In reference to one of my previous posts which discussed cultural competency, finding my niche is bringing me closer and closer to being able to write from my character's perspectives. To see the world through their eyes is quite an experience. To imagine things as they see them is just incredible.
So my challenge to all of you. Write. Write some more. And Keep writing. Write until you find your niche and then write some more. Find that connection with your characters and your writing. Get to know your characters and their stories, even if you're feeling under the weather.