Monday, June 18, 2012
A writer's question - MY CHARACTER CHANGED
As a writer of Memoir and Non Fiction - and Poetic Memoir - the truth is so important, along with details from the heart. Here is a question which I receive quite often, and I am sharing it with you. Sincerely, Nancy
A writers question. "My Character Changed - but it happened too quickly?"
I hear this from writers of all genres, can a character become someone else from page 44 to 46? Yes. You can make your characters what you want them to be, especially in fiction. In non fiction - meaning memoirs - don't we all change from hour to hour, day to day, minute to minute, and, I am sure you get the drift here. If you want to be honest with the reader, tell the truth, if you are writing a REAL MEMOIR - it better be the truth. The two different ways to find out about the characters, are they really real? Well, here are some examples, and thoughts about characters and a little more. Change is welcome, and the reader is waiting for it.<s>
1. The Memoir - better be real because if it isn't it will haunt you forever. People have a difficult time writing from the heart, sometimes because they feel they are hurting someone in their past telling the truth, I find many writers hold off on writing the truth because they do not want to be caught in the middle of some argument, be sued etc. Which reminds me, if you are using real people, be sure they give you permission to use their name, etc., and have it signed. As a writer I take my TRUE EVENTS and let them flow, just as it happened. Even when I write Poetic Memoir I let them flow, as one would in a book, and the real hard truth begins to seep out of your mind onto the paper.
2. During interviews I can tell immediately if the book is called fiction, and it is really about the life of the writer. Something tells me this within the writing. I sometimes ask and find out the truth. Believe it or not, the authors who admit it is the truth, and not fiction have sold better then those who are trying to push it over as fiction.
3. If you are writing a book for someone else and you want the truth to be told - well you better question, question, question, with interview after interview. The most recent ghost writing I am now in the middle of writing - a TRUE STORY - I did not have the opening chapter until the last four hour interview - I knew I had everything I needed at that point. And, don't try ghost writing without walking in the shoes of those telling the story. That's one impossible story to write regarding memoirs. But, if you were writing about a subject like "Wine" it takes research - and visiting the vineyards, etc. Treat everything like it is alive and well. <S>
4. The story Based on a True Story is called this because they did not live through the entire story - perhaps 3/4 MEMOIR and the rest from the lifetime when you were not here, such is the book I am writing - beginning in 1897 - the first of three, I wasn't even thought about - the second and third generations, I begin to come alive with my inner most thoughts - when the first book I did live through a families eyes, ears, words, and love. I heard the hardship, pain, death, and even the adventures from a time when I can sit and take notes, research, and believe in my own heart, knowing the person who is telling me how it really happened. How I will change this because of the characters, the first of a trilogy will be Based on a Real Story, and the second two, will be Memoir. A true story where I am telling the story. This is a touchy subject since I am telling the story through the words of another in book one, but never lived it. That's the difference in a REAL MEMOIR.
5. Read some of the books of those I have interviewed in the past, sure some call them fiction, but all in all, we are hearing the truth. It's fun to examine the works of others, get to know the authors and have enough nerve to ask them, how much of this is you? I know I sometimes get the truth - while some people stick to the fiction ... Never fear to write, for every emotion makes a better book and the closer you are to the character, the more you know the character is changing - as we all do, depending on circumstance, and our daily life.