If writers were better looking, they would be actors. Our skill set is very similar, they have to pretend to be a whole heap of different people, and so do we. In a way, we’re even more versatile because we don’t have the dead eye of the camera judging us and prescribing what we can be. We get to be anyone and everyone regardless of gender or ability or skin colour. Or we should be able to, anyway.
What ever character you’re working on, if they’re not coming to life then I’d heartily recommend taking a long look at the acting profession and try ‘being’ your character for a while, rather than writing them. Continue reading “Writers Are Ugly Actors”
“Some of your characters leap off the page,” favourite beta reader told me, “but some are really flat.” I was miffed. This was a work of non-fiction, I was merely introducing the reader to people I bumped into on the road, why should that need any work?
I requested clarification, a little archly. She told me how much she liked Ooooors’la, the tiny lady who pronounced her own name as though she were unwell, and who drove her forklift truck with a pinkie finger raised as thought taking tea with the queen. I giggled, “Oh she was funny, I liked her…”
Then she listed the people she couldn’t quite see, the ones who stayed resolutely non-dimensional. “Well, I didn’t want to be nasty because I don’t want the book to be a bitch-fest.” As the conversation progressed, we twigged that the all the people I’d liked leapt off the page and the ones I’d hated stayed put, resolutely indistinguishable from each other. Continue reading “Who do you love?”