Creating Character

13th Trial:  Social Media. I have recently acquired a smart phone to use as my main phone. Never again will this happen. I absent-mindedly pick up my phone and by the time I put it down I opened at least three apps. This is the downfall of civilization. Or a type of it for that matter. And here I am, blogging.

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 6.5 hours

Weekly Choice of Tea: Bombay Chai

Biggest Success: Swimming Lake Wylie without a partner (the water is dark and I can’t stop imagining snapping turtles, whether they exist in Lake Wylie or not…its scary being alone!)

This must be nothing more than a sequel to last week’s article. It has to be. I am not burdened by the struggle I imagined I would be–how to write, what to write, oh writer’s block–my nemesis! Grant it, do not suppose I am not challenged by these common obstacles. Lately, however, I am overwhelmed by the absolute quantity of material that surrounds me. Even in the discovery of new persons in my life–Charles and his trains or Brian with his solar Pyrography–I am reminded of who I have known for years. Think of all of my friends, their successes and their trials. Think of all those I have become intimate with, by sharing my emotions and my thoughts. Consider for a moment my family and their knowledge, strength, and of course quirks. I have thought a lot about those who have still such a strong hold on my heart. And even professionally and spiritually, those who have built worlds and given me motivation.

Many such people seem fragmented within me, and within my imagination. Their morals and ethics remind me of who I want to be, who I do not want to be. I am fortunate in my friendships and in those I love. For I am surrounded by a world of animation, happiness, and color. I am enjoying reading Mansfield Park, where Austen very much emphasizes a world of indulgence on one end, and a very humble, thankful meditation on the other. Fanny Price is a character in the book who is better by those in her life–the ones that tear her down and laugh at her are just as important as those who love her and protect her. The adversities and the trials I face, along with the care and sweetness of those around me, create my character, and more importantly, give my book genuine faces and realistic qualities. Here are just a couple photographs of my dear friends and family!



The Importance of Thoughtful Action

11th Trial: Should one detach reality from its descriptive tense in a setting, as one alters a living character to protect their identity?

Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 5 hours

Weekly Choice of Tea: Iced Peach Tea

Biggest Success: Meeting a man named Brian at Smelly Cat Coffeehouse

I have mentioned before that I live in an area very conducive to a town in a novel. I need nothing more than to walk out my doors and write of the life that happens every moment, the detail in all the cracked brick that holds up small businesses and artist shops, and the effect of the bright air of summer. Not only am I lucky in my surroundings, and the happenings of the town, but in its people. I have already told you of the wanderers of Noda, such as the man in the sweater with ornaments dangling from it. One in particular I have made friends with, at least he remembers my name. His name is Brian, and we met at the local coffee shop as I sat writing with Boo Radley (my dog…not the recluse neighbor of Lee’s novel..though inspired by!). He was the most intriguing person I had met yet—he rode up on a double seated bicycle and parked it next to my table. His seat was under a large umbrella that was secured to his bike by means of a hockey stick, and at the front of the bike sat a four leaf clover made of wire. He got off the bike and went into the coffee shop, for presumably, coffee. Upon closer inspection there was a saber inserted above the back wheel of the bicycle. He shortly returned outside and sat near me. I continued to write, but could not help but watch him and his mannerisms. How else can characters inspire me? No I am not a creeper, stalker, starer! I know, a picture lasts longer.

He unpacked his bag and had a few pieces of rectangular wood and a large lens from a projector. He then looked up at the sky and waited for the cloud to pass. Once the rays were directly above him, he began burning the wood with his lens. I was astonished! I had never seen it before! And so began our friendship. He described it as Solar Pyrography, and he does it solely as a hobby. He was currently working on his trademark, which was a hand vertically over a maze symbol.


To him, the hand means action, the maze means thought. He said you cannot have one without the other in civilization. If you have just the hand, you are no better than a bully dictator that only uses brute force. If you have just the maze, you have a mind without a body, and therefore little effect. The only was is Thought and Action, essential together for they are disastrous apart.


While none of this does not scream of something more british, as most of my blogs emphasize (though I have started reading Mansfield Park, thank you very much!), this is an incredible example of the influences I find right outside my door. Action and thought. Cannot one create an antagonist based on that concept alone? My new trial is a difficult one–can I separate my reality from my novel? Should I even try?

“I have found a million and one things to do with a hockey stick that doesn’t involve hockey.”   -Brian