Lately I've been spending some time doing some light renovations on my house. I'm under some pressure with this stuff, and it's been very difficult, mentally.
For the most part, things are working out so far. These are renos that some people could pull off with barely a thought. I'm just not that guy.
Drywall, wood, paint, scraping stuff off of stuff, sticking things to other things, silicone beads (oy, what a mess!)…it's a whole world that I'm quite uncomfortable with. I did a much larger reno a couple years back, and I learned some things, but I had excellent help. An expert or two who could make things happen. This one I'm doing mostly on my own. It's tough!
But this experience, combined with Gunwallace's post from the other day about giving characters different voices, has made me think of how useful this kind of thing can be for writing and creativity.
I don't know about others, but I've often found writing stories to be mostly about self discovery. I like looking inward, figuring out my thoughts and what they mean, and translating my own quirks into exaggerated versions that appear in my characters and their adventures. My characters come from a place that's very ME.
But dipping my toe into this other arena, where I don't often tread, is kind of exciting (maybe I'm feeling this positive because it seems to be going all right at the moment. Tomorrow could be a different story).
I've thought about the sort of person I'm NOT. I'm not talking about wish fulfillment; I'm thinking of the type of people I will never be and have no interest in being in the long term. People who fix engines and build walls and figure out how to get the lights working and the water draining.
It's immensely satisfying to learn some of this stuff of course, but it's not how I want to spend my time.
I'm getting the strong sense that my next protagonist(s) will be someone who has very little in common with me, and has completely different interests and points of view.
Again, one of the pleasures of writing characters and stories is self-discovery and self examination. Who we are is endlessly fascinating.
But it leads to equally fascinating questions about who we ain't!
Have a good one, and thanks to Gunwallace for kicking off this train of thought!
Banes at 12:00AM, April 21, 2016
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