Sunday, 25 March 2012

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and welcome to the Rollicking Tales Blog Tour: it all begins here. In a moment I will get to some very poncey talk about writing (forgive me) but first I thought you would like to see a timetable for the Blog Tour.
25th March The Various Electronic Missives of Thomas H Pugh Which is my blog and incidentally where you are now.

26th March The Seventh Sanctum Blog Where I shall pontificate on trying to be professional.

27th March Molly Spring Writes Where I shall be interviewed.

28th March Dieselpunk As the guest of Larry Amyett Jr I shall preach to the converted about how great Dieselpunk is.

29th March Swordfighter Creative Where I am interviewed again.

30th March The Scribbling Sea Sprite Where I shall issue forth some more pearls of wisdom.

1st April The Daily Steampunk Where I put the case forward that Steampunk is perfect for Rollicking Tales

2nd April Nyki Blatchley – Fantasy Author Where we have a discussion on the art and craft of writing.

3rd April We return to The Various Electronic Missives of Thomas H Pugh where I hope you will all join me for after tour cocktails.

All these blogs are great, and are worth visiting even when I’m not on them. But with out further delay I shall get on with the first post of the much anticipated (by me, probably not anyone else) tour:

The other day my wife and I went down to the big smoke to see a Lucien Freud exhibition. Whilst looking at his paintings something struck me: it was incredible how much of Freud’s relationship with each person came through in the painting. It was as if the portrait wasn’t of the sitter but of how Freud felt about the sitter, in effect it was a painting o the relationship.
It got me thinking how I could use something like this in my writing. When I develop characters it is normally by jotting a few notes on them in one of my many notebooks. Things along the lines of ‘arrogant’ or ‘had a bad childhood’.
But actually my view, as the author, of the character is almost irrelevant. Obviously if a piece is being written in first person then it is important to know how the narrator would describe the other characters (as well as himself). But this is no less important when writing in third person. The narrative will nearly always be written from a characters point of view and that will colour how everyone is being described.
I might have written Johnny as an arrogant, worthless waste of space, but if a scene is being written from Lucy’s point of view, and she thinks he is the best thing ever to happen to leather jackets then that will effect the language used in that scene. He won’t walk across the car park, he will strut, there will be less time spent describing his greasy hair than his intense blue eyes.
So I’ve started making character notes not so much along the lines of ‘arrogant’, but more ‘Lucy thinks he’s great’, ‘Lucy’s dad has grave reservations about him.’ I’ve even gone so far as to make a big grid with each characters name across the top and also down the side. I then fill in the grid with how each character sees everyone else, not forgetting themselves, after all Freud’s self portraits are very telling. I think this is helping me develop more rounded characters, after all who of us is seen in exactly the same light by two different people. When all is said and done everyone if defined by a million different perceptions, bringing this into writing can only be a good thing.

Follow the blog tour: tomorrow we will be at that haven of the professional geek, Seventh Sanctum

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you have some interesting things coming up.