Oh, Wow! Writers!

I'm in utter awe of all of the posts this month.
I'm dead in the water.
No movement.
Ophelia, crazed, drowned, face down, hair waving with the water's movements.

Deep Breath...

I must write a post. My day is here. Her robotic voice inside her head said. Deep Breath...

Writers come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and brain motherboards. This month's blog surely points that out so much more than anything I've ever seen. The 'posters' have written word upon word, selected actors, found pictures, imagined and exclaimed, shared and re-shared. I cannot see it. I am a writer and I do not think in that way.

My mind doesn't work that way. At all.

I see my characters as movie clips. Then I write down what they say and think and do. They cannot be played by others. They are themselves. I get an idea and it forms the character around it--like a nucleous to a snowflake.

Since characters in situations that is their stories come out of my brain, they must be in my memory to come out of it. Many character traits go in, then the mixer whirls them into parts and out comes fully formed people with desires, motivations, short legs, impossible hair, overpowering fathers, manipulative other characters. With the movie, the director gets to decide along with all of the other movie maker people.

In my books sudden death is around the corner, life is in a lizard, will power triumphs all. Some are over-loved until they must run. But who will play the part in the movie? I can't tell.

There are things that movies lack when compared to books. Books give the gift of time spent reading them. I favor books and rare is the movie taken from a book that is faithful to it. Books give the gift of allowing the reader's imagination to people the story.

I once had the golden opportunity to listen to a couple of readers who loved my story and they were arguing over it. It was a sublime and teaching moment. For the story they were arguing over who had gotten it right, wasn't the one I had written. In my mind, the story was different from either of theirs.  The lesson learned was that just as a writer brings to the story their own experiences and understandings, so too does each reader. Therefore no two readers are going to read the exact same story because their backgrounds and experiences are different. Hop into a different area and social rung and the difference is even more pronounced. However, with a movie, that is all gone. Someone else has decided how the character will look, act, and dress.

My first novel, The Proving Zone: Tory's Story has been compared to a blockbuster movie or two. The irony is that most of the story is in the character's heads. To have a movie, someone has to speak. There's not enough dialogue to make a good movie, but then, I guess that's what script writers are for.

Write on ladies in all your glorious differences in your writerly brains. I'm going to pop some popcorn and watch you all and get comfortable with the fact that my writerly juices percolate differently. And take another breath....


Nina Sipes said...

If I have to ever to select a picture of one of my characters, I'll sublet the job out.

Rox Delaney said...

I see movies, too, Nina. I had to learn to find photos that had some resemblance to those characters in my head. Some were fairly easy, some really hard. Now that I know it needs to be done, I look on it as a quest. ;)

Pat Davids said...

As I reading your post, the nurse in me shouted, "NO! Don't take a deep breath while you're face down in the water!"

As always, Nina, I love your imagery.

Yes, writers come in all shapes and they all function (write) in different ways. Isn't that a joy? As a reader, I couldn't be happier with that turn of events. If we give a dozen writers the same storyline, we will be gifted with a dozen different books.

Don't worry that your story doesn't have enough dialogue to be made into a movie. I watch ALL IS LOST not long ago. There was "one" word of dialogue. One!

Awesome movie. Bet was a good book, too.

Nina Sipes said...

I had a couple of pictures on my desk once. It was about the time Penny was doing the Graphic Board thing with all kinds of inspiring stuff. So, I tried a little inspiration with a couple of interesting looking pictures, one of a guy another of a woman. Nothing happened. My characters didn't end up looking even remotely like the picts. And the pictures were only annoying after a while. So, for outward inspiration, I'm doomed. Now inward? That's quite a jungle/jumble of stuff!

Nina Sipes said...

In some states, I'd be medicated. Heavily.
State of Interest.
State of Solemnity.
State of Prurient Interest.
State of...All is Lost? Hmmm. I'll have to look into that one.
Thanks for the 'pat' on the back;)

Joan Vincent said...

Your posts are always great Nina. Like Pat I think it's great that we are all so different. I'm a failure at point plotting which Rox and Pat do with such ease. Can't tell you how inferior that made me feel for a time. It wasn't until I joined WARA that I actually met and discussed writing with other authors. Made me know I was a tad less weird than I first thought--I mean, people talking in my head, arguing with each other and sometimes me?
I too see scenes in my books as movies. It was difficult to select actors because I had firm pictures of what my characters looked like in my head.

Rox Delaney said...

As Joan said, we all have what works best for "me." One of my brainstorming partners has to know the black moment, before she can move forward. She, like Pat, edits as she goes. I can't do that. I'd bog down and never finish the book. LOL And I didn't start out collecting pictures of anyone, until I had to. Now that I know that in advance, I use it to my advantage and find the closest "star" I can find to what I envision as my character. We each do what works best, and if that means no pictures, I'd be the last person to nail someone because of it. :)

Nina Sipes said...

You're so right. I too, once the story gets rolling, know what these people are like and those aren't actor/famous.
I cried a lot when my writerly powers came in. Then I cried because I was afraid I was going crazy. Then a friend of mine, who listens to books on tape heard an interview by the person who wrote the Mrs. Polifax series. My friend told me to listen to the interview so I did, and I cried again. To know that I wasn't crazy and that another person, who hadn't been locked up yet and that I admire as a writer, Dorothy Gillman (just remembered her actual name....) has the same type of writing brain that I do. Of course I do not claim her skill, but it works the same. And of course, I cried at some WARA members too. They all suffered the burden very well. But then, their skills came to them much earlier.

Nina Sipes said...

I'm paralyzed with edits until it goes forward because my head works like time-travel. If an edit goes back to a previous time, whoops!, the world changes! Black moment? Ha! my black moments jump out at me like surprise party guests.

I've really had some re-writes though as time passed in between sitting in the chair and my mood changed my characters, the saucy devils!

A little bit of plotting would have saved that time. I'm going to have to work on those skills. After all, I didn't walk for quite a while after I was born. Took me months to get it going. I need to work on my writerly skills too.

Rox Delaney said...

Nina, keep in mind that I refused to plot for several years.

As for voices in my head, I've had them for as long as I can remember. Only children especially like their "friends."