Building character(s)…

I’ve never had much of a problem coming up with story ideas. To be honest, I dream about them. (Although, it is still one of my greatest fears that one day the story ideas will dry up like the speculated river beds on Mars.) So why is it so hard for me to build credible characters? Ones that I could believe are real enough to be interesting? Why does the idea of creating a new life, albeit a fictional one, scare me to the point of apathy. (A lot of my feeling of apathy (oxymoronish, I know) towards writing, comes from my inability to create characters I would care about much less an outside audience.) It is something I need to work on.

So, what other elements are important in creating believable characters that a reader can care about. Their past is obvious. What they do for a job is another. What they do for fun. How they treat others. How they treat themselves. What else?

Perhaps, I need to do an exercise in character development. (Take-home work from me coming soon.)

Sex is essential… Part 2

After thinking about this topic for a day, I realized that I didn’t discuss something, which is probably the most important aspect of sex and sexuality in a character’s creation and development, that is gender.

How could I forget one of the major choices in a writer’s process; deciding which gender your character will assume. What other decision can affect how your character develops besides whether they are male or female? Heck, maybe there is no gender or more than two in the species your character is a part of. Who’s to say we aren’t even talking about the human species with that scenerio. Maybe in the future, technology or evolution has broadened the human condition.

See what I am saying. The use of sex and sexuality as part of character development can carry at least a subplot of a good story. So why is it so hard for me to build credible characters that could conceivably write the story for me. Something to think about in the next post.

Sex is essential… Part 1

Most of us can agree that sex is essential; that sexuality is a key element in any character’s development. It took me awhile to get this, mostly because the person who brought this to my attention for the first time was a creepy, old guy (old relative to me anyways) who had no concept of “personal space”. He kinda wanted to discuss more than my story if you get my drift. He made me so uncomfortable with his actions that when he asked me about my characters’ sexuality and their sex while trying to press against me, his point became secondary. Most of my concentration was spent on trying to get away, and I barely heard what he was trying to say. I didn’t see the truth behind the delivery, which is slightly ironic I suppose.

The truth is: Sex and sexuality are important, even the lack thereof can be important, when developing a fully dimensional character. It can define them and who they are and how they act. I don’t mean sleazy, slutty prose, although that stuff certainly does sell and has an audience. I mean stuff that shows the device behind the person whose story you are telling. What that character does is the story writers are trying to tell. Knowing and understanding the sex and sexuality of your characters can do a lot to help move that along. Then again maybe sex isn’t everything – just ask any married or long-term committed couple in the world, but it can be a starting point for something.

First Lesson Done…

I did it. I completed my first writing assignment for the BNU class which was to write a brief introduction. It was horrible. I don’t mean to write, although hitting that submit button wasn’t easy. It was horribley written. I feel so damn rusty like the Tinman of Oz needing a good oil can.

One assignment down, about eight or ten to go. (Don’t talk to me about actually writing a story yet, I’m just trying to get my head around this.)

Back to schooling…

So… I am trying to shock myself into writing something… anything. One of my efforts is by participating in one of those on-line courses held by Barnes and Noble. Actually, I’ve signed up for several classes this “term” cause I am an idiot. (No… I am an idiot.) One of them happens to be Writing Science Fiction with Gotham Writers` Workshop. Supposedly, it functions as a “lecture” version of their [Gotham Writers] popular writers’ workshops which usually have smaller class participation. I am hoping this will do some good. Of course, I have to actually participate first.

Will I start? Will I complete it? Will I continue to make regular postings? Stay tuned…. or not. It’s not that much of a big deal.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

And I don’t care…

Well, I do care. I mean it is after all 06/06/06 – devil hour…. er day… er month… er year. All I really like about this day is how symmertical it is. I liked 01/01/01 and 02/02/02 and so forth and so on for the very same reason. A form of symmetry. A form of balance. And, after all, balance is key.

(Oh, and if you are wondering why I am writing on such a random topic. Well, I am trying to get into the habit of writing something everyday, even if it is just bunk.)