Friday, March 09, 2012

Going For It

"Story is characters in conflict. Characters with impossible dreams. Characters willing to do anything to reach their dreams." Randy Ingermanson

Last weekend I went to hear Kristan Higgins, NYT bestselling novelist, speak on writing. She gave a great presentation that helped me see some issues in my current novel. That was good and bad-- good that I saw it, bad that I had to address it once I saw it. Definitely messed with my rigid, self-imposed writing schedule. You can't very well keep writing if you know you've got big trouble in River City (or Sunset Beach, as it is in my novels). I've spent this week trying to deal with the issues that were present before I wrote another word.

But that wasn't what I wrote this post to talk about.

One thing Kristan said in the presentation really stood out to me. She said that everyone knows the things they would need to do to achieve their dreams, to realize the person they were meant to be. But very few people actually do it. She said that that's why certain characters resonate with us as readers. They're the characters who go for it.

I'm still thinking about what that means. On one hand, it means that there's stuff holding all of us back, and that's sad. But on the other hand, it means that I learned something about how to make my characters stronger, more heroic. The best, most memorable characters are the ones who go after their dreams. It's made me think of the characters I've loved, and why I've loved them. It's made me delve into how I can have my characters do that. And also examine how I can be a person who does that... who realizes the full potential of what I was intended to be. I don't want to just write about it, I want to live it.
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Sarah Elizabeth said...

I've saved that quote by Randy Ingermanson to my repertoire of Writer's Quotes. It really made me think this week too.

If we are driven in our writing, and our characters are heroic and chasers of their own dreams alongside us, our novel world and the real world would definitely be a better place for it, I do believe.

I really love that you wrote this post, Marybeth! As I could do nothing else except meditate on that "character quote" and the thoughts that followed about my own WIP novel that I'm writing.

My main characters, and my life as a writer, has been shaped a bit more and bettered for it all.

Thanks for sharing!

Kathy B said...

Love that thought. I was reading in Exodus lately and was taken aback by God telling Moses at the Red Sea, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!" It was such a great reminder that as great as it is to pray through things, at some point we need to MOVE, to take the plunge. This was another great reminder of that.