Monday, March 8, 2010

Characters Welcome

       On Saturday, two of my long-time writing pals came over for pizza and snacks to chat about whether we really need to see a shrink if we sometimes have schizy voices shouting in our heads, like competing Kanye-esque producers of an Oscar-winning documentary.
       (And curse you, Cablevision and ABC.  You may have relented from your greedy, broadcast-blackout shenanigans about an hour into the Academy Awards show Sunday night, but all is not forgiven. But, as usual, I digress.)
        Generally, I fly solo, seatbelt free, tossed and turned by bits of dialogue that seem to spring out of the jets in my shower. They wash over me, leading to actual scenes, but essentially remaining on the skin surface. Not steeping and percolating with something fuller, richer darker, more substantive -- like something with caffeine.
        We had fun this weekend -- at least I like to think so -- but we also got some things accomplished. At least I did. You want your federal agent to own an $80,000 pimped-out Cadillac Escalade? Why would he have one? Why is his ride so important to him? Why would he risk driving such a flashy car when he knows the bad guys are on his trail?
       Suddenly, you've got back-story, you've got layering and texture, you've got character arcs, you've got plot points. You have partners who are invested in your hallucinations and want to see your space pirate travel through conflict and villainy from Planet Zontar Deluxe (thanks Wry) to the Klyxan-Smee Galaxy. You have ... excitement.
       Afterwards, I was thinking that any civilian happening by and overhearing our raucous discussion of magic and space and terrorists and runaway brides would be calling for the white-coated attendants with the butterfly nets and shipping us off to Shutter Island straightaway.
      For that I am grateful, you guys.
     Stumbled across these forms and spreadsheets and what-not at The Scriptorium Toolbox. Thought some of yez might find it helpful.
      And for those of yez in the mood for a road trip, there's always Lady Jane's Salon.    


Gina Rosavin said...

Oh we definitely had fun! That was very helpful and it really got the juices flowing, and as you'll se by the email I just sent, drove my brain into overtime with conflict builders! LOL!

Of course, if I hadn't taken an excursion into the Bronx on the way there, we might have gotten even more done! Defintely need to do this again. The discussing really helped solidify things. All those little bits we pick up throughout our days definitely became real and detailed and logical.

On a side note, my coworker just turned around and said he had a great idea for a business venture, we should partner up. I started laughing, cause you know what business venture popped into my head!

Wendy Marcus said...

Hi Terri!
The voices in my head are loudest first thing in the morning, before I get out of bed, and in the shower. If the tank of my hot water heater was bigger, I bet I could plot an entire manuscript in the shower! Jotting down ideas is a problem though!
I'm glad you had a productive brainstorming session. It really helps to discuss storylines with others. A lot of times they come up with ideas I'd never thought of.
Happy writing!

Terri said...

So I'm all revved up, too. Two (count 'em)stories percolating at the same time. Then Sunday happened, daytime family chores, nighttime frustration with the Cablevision/ABC/Academy Awards unpleasantness.
Then get all set to go this a.m. Remembered I'd been neglecting this space and wanted to throw something together re: Sat. nite. Then e-mails from you sidetracked me. (Forced me to concoct a "he's a firefighter/she's an arsonist" type conflict for a one pair, though.) Then, something on my desk top reminded me it's nearly tax time and I never sent my dad's tax stuff to the tax guy. (Never mind mine. We'll have to X that bridge in April.) Threw papers all around, then made some calls seeking more papers to throw around, then stuffed them in an envelope and zoomed to the P.O. before it goes out of business.
Then it's 4 o'clock.
Quittin' time.
Spring fever.

Terri said...

Wendy -- Yeah, I think I got some things talked out and worked out. I know my characters much better than I did. Had back stories for two and needed confirmation that their story could work. Had a set-up but nothing more for the other two. Now they've got lives.

Kathy said...

Yes, we did get things accomplished. A road trip may be nice, but if you aren't heading in some sort of direction, you might just end up running in circles. I know I am off to a good stset. Too bad my heart decided to force me to take a short detour.

Terri said...

Um, you didn't actually click on the link to Lady Jane's Salon, now did you? If so, I'm not sure I know what you mean by not heading in some sort of direction. Actually, it's a kind of funny comment, because I actually had a few lines about the session being like suddenly opening a road map and finding "Kansas" and "Not Anymore" marked in bright red circles. But then I, you know, digressed, and lost a whole bunch of thoughts.
Good luck tomorrow.

Yo said...

Sorry I missed out - but glad and psyched you guys got a lot done. Definately looking forward to particpating next time! I wonder if there's away to write focusing on the trials and tribulations of having a house. Oh wait that was the money pit...

Carly Phillips said...

The voices used to talk more to me in my earlier writing years. These days, I'm thrilled when they show up again. It means I still love what I do!

Terri said...

We're also thrilled when yours show up! When voices don't show up in MY head, I'll hear Kathy's voice -- sometimes Ms. Rosavin's -- in my ear!

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