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    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

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Good characters make writing easier

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Greetings and Salutations loyal readers of the blog,

As you can see my Pain and Torture Therapist has taken away my wheel chair and given me a cane in its place.  While I like the suave look of a stylish cane, it does nothing to help me get around in the swamp.  When I put any weight on it, the cane simply sinks into the squishy mud we call home.  On the up side I am feeling better.  Although the first few days after my luncheon with The Three Mifiteers I was feeling no pain.  I later found out the muses have kept a secret garden of Dreamers flowers growing somewhere in the Swamp and Mischievous Raven was brewing me tea from the pedals.

We’ve been talking for several weeks about characters and what makes them tick.  And as writers, how do we learn about them.  Case in point last week I was summoned to lunch by The Three Misfiteers.  Their motive as a group was to get me off my butt and do what is necessary to get their book published.

Let’s review a few of the things we learned about them as a group and as individuals.

Molly Houlihan is clearly the leader of the group and she steers them to do her bidding.  She is an in your face, confrontational, no excuses kind of gal. Her motivations are not completely selfish.  She wants what is best for The Three Misfiteers and even for me.  She is not diplomatic or apologetic.  She calls you on your bullshit and won’t accept no, I can’t, or I tried.  In short she is results oriented.  The perfect CEO.

Frank Blase, on the other hand is extremely intelligent.  He will weigh both sides of the argument, take into account strengths and weaknesses, and find a solution.  Unlike Molly he is not results oriented.  He will provide the best and worse scenarios and wait for someone else to make the final decision.  He will beat you in a debate because he is informed and can present his argument in a logical and comprehensible way.  He’s the thinker in the group and his opinion is held in high regard by Molly who ultimately will be making the decision.

Billy Hashberger is spontaneous.  He’s a doer.  His motto is do something, even if it’s wrong.  He’s impatient, flippant and reckless.  When fools rush in Billy will be in the lead.  It’s often his actions that get the Three Misfiteers into predicaments that Frank and Molly have to get them out of. On the flip side Billy will do anything for his friends with no regard for himself.  Loyal to a fault and anxious to act. Things are rarely boring when Billy’s in the vicinity.

These are the most obvious of the groups traits.  Below these are layers of complexity that it is harder to wring out.  But the more you know about the inner workings of your character the easier it is to move them through a scene, making decisions and keeping them true to themselves and the reader.

A flutter of shiny black feathers interrupts my chain of thought.  My onyx feathered friend lands in front of me.

“Eerie, are you almost done?  Don’t forget you promised to get me an advanced copy of  Faith Hunter’s new book Blood Trade before she visits next week,” Mischievous Raven blurts out.

“I’m a little busy here.”

“She coming next Thursday and you promised.”

“What’s the big deal?  It’ll be released April 2. You can get it then.”

Jane Yellowrock is the big deal.  And I was going to ask Ms. Hunter to sign it for me.”

“Okay, I’ll talk to Wicked as soon as I’m done here.  I promise we’ll get you an autographed copy.”

“Do you think she would mind signing the other five, while she’s at it?”

“I’m sure she’s very nice and will sign all your books if your polite.  But I’ll give Wicked a heads up that you have the whole Jane Yellowrock series.”

“Good.  That’s good.”  Mischievous says between breaths.

“Slow down.  Take a deep breath.”

“Okay, I’m breathing now.  Oh boy, oh boy oh, boy, Jane Yellowrock, right here in the Swamp.”

“You know Jane Yellowrock is a fictional character, right?”

“Oh yeah, I’ll tell that to Molly the next time she wants to know where you are.”

“Good point.”

I’m going to have to leave you all here so I can talk with Wicked about Mischievous’ request.  We’ll close with a quotation from Jungleland By Bruce Springsteen

“And the poets down here
Don’t write nothing at all
They just stand back and let it all be
And in the quick of the night
They reach for their moment
And try to make an honest stand
But they wind up wounded
Not even dead
Tonight in Jungleland”

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf

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