Musings on the Art of Writing

As a child, I discovered fantastic worlds created in books. When I began writing about the worlds of my own imagination, I realized how hard authors work to set their characters free to live for our enjoyment. This blog will explore that weird and wonderful process.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Best Laid Plans

I just read On the Brink of Summer and realized summer is almost gone and I have yet to begin Sarah.  I had hoped my muse, which seems to flourish in Victoria, would visit me there but I just couldn't get inspired.  Read my travel blog, A Brief Moment in Time, to see what occupied my time.

It's seems ironic my last post was written on my grandson's final day of school and this one on their first day back.  I'd like to say the nip of fall is in the air but we're still enjoying balmy days and warm nights.  The hills surrounding me are green, such an unusual colour in southern Alberta at this time of year.  I hope that come September, I'll feel the revitalization of a new season and inspiration will strike.

I know my problem.  There is a scene which I must write but my vision of it keeps changing.  My two main characters meet my two secondary characters.  These guys are Chinese and I want them to sound authentic when they interact with Sarah.  I've done some research with a Chinese Canadian girl who has helped me understand the culture of the community but I'm not sure if what I know will translate when these two boys begin to talk.  It's a road block I must overcome before I move on to the next phase of the tale which is where the magic begins.  Sigh.  Work before play.

Have I learned anything this summer which will help?  Perhaps, as you never know what you will eventually use in your writing.  So far this summer, I

  • got caught up in a spider-web infested rain forest.
  • saw mist rolling over hills and farmland
  • learn to knit a cipher like Madame Defarge in Tale of Two Cities
  • enjoyed dim sum and photographed the meal for the first time
  • learned how to make fried rice
  • gained insight into the dynamics of a small town's economy
  • saw some weird mushrooms
  • saw lots of wildlife including black bears, elk, mountain sheep, black oystercatchers, herons, gulls, osprey, bald eagles, cooper's hawks, swainson's hawks, gold mantled ground squirrels, marmots, deer
  • met some interesting people while golfing
  • was named player of the week by my World of Warcraft guild (not sure how that will help but Sarah is a game-based story)
  • witnessed an early morning sailing on the ferry
  • enjoyed a busy market day on Salt Spring Island
Will any of these experiences be used--most definitely for fantasy fiction must be based in reality.  The trick is to lure readers into believing in your characters before they use something as unreal as magic.  You do that by making them and your setting familiar.  Sarah is set in Canada in 2012 and she is a typical teen.  Magic happens and her life is changed.  The theme isn't new (no theme is) but I hope Sarah can draw readers into her life but first I must smash my writer's block and write the tale.