Monday, December 10, 2007

Micro Managing My Characters

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about micro-managed characters. If the author is playing Twister (He picked up the red coffee mug with his left hand while his right hand rested on the knee of his blue pants.) then the character is micro-managed. Writing a scene isn't like drafting a technical schematic. It's more like an impressionist painting. Capture only enough to get the idea across and move on.

Advice is so very easy to give, isn't it? Not so easy to follow, especially when it's your own.

I was working on a scene that was running like a movie in my head. I could see every detail of the room and what the characters were doing. And I caught myself transcribing everything I saw from my imagination onto the page. Wrong, wrong , wrong. I only need enough detail to anchor the reader into the scene. The rest is getting the characters from point A (where they were when the scene opens) to point B (where they are emotionally, physically, etc when it ends). The only things that should be happening in that scene are things that move the characters from A to B. That's it. I know that. So why am I looking at a scene I've just written and thinking "left foot, green?"

1 comment:

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

I love the Twister analogy!

Love --