Sunday, 1 March 2015

Pandora's Box of Writing

I recently opened my W-I-P box, my personal Pandora's box.
Out of it fled poorly constructed characters, holey plots, meandering storylines and conflicting clues, not to mention almost illegibly written notes. Hope, the poor little mite, has been squashed flat under the weight of expectation and a tonne of paper.

One of the non-fiction works, Crossing the Bosporus, the last of my travelogue trilogy would be simple to write, but the urge to write it has gone. Perhaps a weekend in Istanbul would add oxygen to the dwindling flame. 

It is, however, the fiction pieces that are causing me the most angst. I have two novels - one a murder, the other a love story - and whilst the bones are relatively strong and create fairly robust skeletons with all the bits in the right places, it is the flesh that is the problem. Particularly the fleshing out of the characters. 

Naturally, I want my characters to have depth and to be believable but I want to show that in their actions and speech not tell it in a lengthy piece of prose (or do I?). But, and here's the crux, I hate writing dialogue,so I have had to look for other ways to put across their habits, mannerisms passions and various traits. I wrote about character building in a previous post (2012, that is how long I've been plugging away, or not, at one of the fictitious pieces) and I know all there is to know about my characters, it is how to portray them that is scaring me.

This characterisation crisis is stifling everything else, but it has to end. I'm going to gently lift Hope out of the corner of the box, give her a dust-down and read a little to her, to inflate her with words. Then, regardless of how I feel, I'm going to get down and dirty with my inkpen.

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