The Work of Writing Ten: Who if?

Standard

Sometimes I watch airplanes, so tiny far up in the sky, and think about all the people sitting there, some sleeping, some reading, some looking out a window, perhaps in my direction. All those people, coming and going, right now slowly descending toward an O’Hare gate, checking the time, preparing for what Chicago holds.

Or the ones heading out, heading somewhere else, somewhere that’s not here, almost any point on the globe. A mystery without a solution.

It’s these little wonderings that often evolve, grow into your genre, and plant the seeds not only for plot but for characters. Don’t only wonder “what if.”

Wonder “who if.”

Who would be on that plane if it’s going to Buffalo, New York? Who would be on that plane if it’s going to London? To Istanbul? To Seattle?

To the launch terminal city for a cruise through the Panama Canal?

To the launch terminal city for a cruise through the outer Milky Way?

What ifs are the planting flats of writers. But who ifs are the glass walls of the conservatory. You need them both to make your ideas flourish.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Advertisements

Cracking Characters to Push Plot

Standard

 

By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s so humid here today, it’s like sitting in a sponge. I have to run the air even though it’s not that warm.

Sorry, planet Earth.

As you know, I’ve been having my writing struggles this week. I’ve gotten some fantastic tricks and hints from everyone, though (thank you!) and amazing support from others who know what it’s like to try to chip your way through a writing wall.

And I think I know where the problem is. It’s my characters.

I’ve written before about how plotting nearly always comes back to character. What do your characters want? What will they do to get it? Who are they? How do they see the world? What are their secrets?

My WIP is wall-to-wall with characters, but I haven’t taken the time to get to know them. Bad writer.

In a cozy mystery, someone has to want something or not want something or want to hide something enough to kill over it. How can I get to the heart of it if I don’t know my characters well enough to see what motivates them?

I repeat my self-scolding: Bad writer.

So I’m going back through my cast of characters to get to know them a little better. And for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation, with a plot that won’t resolve, it’s never a bad idea to go back to the source of all plot points.

Your characters.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!