Time flies when your... uh... back to work.
Hey, everyone! I'm trying to get into a posting schedule here. I thought I would make Sunday the day to post here at the Journal. This is where I spew things about writing, and about my WIP. When I first started this it was merely an exercise in yammering about writing. And then people came and began to follow. I even get a comment or two, which is great, and I thank you so much for stopping by in your busy day.
Hey, do you do this? I often write down words, phrases (or a whole sentence) into a spiral notebook from books that I read. I might like the way the author phrased something. It might be something that helps me down the road when I come to some point in my writing where I need something that describes a feeling, or some physical act. I can't tell you how many notebooks I have on this. Some are rather small, and I have a ringed binder or two that I might pull out from time to time to help my tired (scatter-brained) mind to jostle it into working.
Last night, I think it was before I went to bed, I had a line come to me, and I wrote it down so that it wouldn't loop around in my brain all night, and keep me up.
A stab of recognition jarred him.
Okay, that was nice. But I looked at it this morning and began changing it.
A jolt of recognition jarred him.
Sudden recognition jolted him.
I like to play around with a line because the meaning can change with the words, like these verbs above. The first line is fine, but the word jolt really defines it and placement in that last sentence helps to show that whoever is doing the recognizing, it's really blind-sided them.
Descriptions of Characters
When it comes to description it's good to have something handy to put down. Since I'm working on my detective's character and description in this story, I needed some handy phrases to consider. Is he granet-jawed? Yeah. That's a good one to have. My detective, Jan Vladislav has Gypsy blood and so his eyes are a little different. I also have the color rather extraordinary, since he's a dhampire. I mean he has to be special, otherwise he'd be boring. So, his eyes are tilted at an exotic Slavic angle. And he wears brown-tinted contacts because the color of his eyes are like a lions--gold. That would definitely put people off seeing golden eyes, wouldn't it? And as background, I wrote that his eyes began changing from hazel to whiskey by age 15.
Yesterday I decided to write up something that happened when he was 15, since I'd barely wrote of it in my original manuscript--and it came way too far back in the book. I wrote the scene (a flash-back), when his uncle explained to him the events before he was born and what it means. Since the book's title is now Dhampire Legacy, I had to bring in somewhere in the first 1/4 of the book what the word means, and that Jan is the off-spring of his father who was turned into a vampire--which was something he didn't know, so this revelations is jarring to him. His father, who became a vampire, went to his mother and had carnal relations with her, and that was how Jan came to be born. The word dhampire is Romanian, and it basically means exactly that, the off-spring of a vampire. It also means vampire slayer. He is someone who would recognize a vampire when he sees one, and is the only human strong enough to fight a vampire. At this point in Jan's life, he doesn't believe in all of this, but he's been schooled in the idea that it is possible, and his belief system is about to get a little shock, since he abandoned the Gypsy beliefs of his family. Also, his uncle had given him a tattoo that night that will help thwart a vampire's thrall--it's the equivalent of an evil-eye to a vampire.
I have gone back to add a few things to the beginning. I couldn't continue with the climax until I got all this other stuff down in the manuscript. I don't know. It was like seeing a picture on the wall askew and I had to go and fix it. So, I'm working through the beginning to add some description to some of the main characters. Today I think I'll try and work on Vince Tobin, the senior detective. Decided he's a John Wayne fan, and wears cowboy boots. He also has the habit of snapping his fingers, but the sound is more like a popping noise because his fingers are large and blunt-ended. He also gives people nick-names. Jan's is "Vlad". Once I decided on that, I could see him in my mind. The original had him slightly different, but not strong enough of a character, and so I'm working on his description.
I'm sure that everyone is different when it comes time to describe your characters, how you decide what they should look like, their foibles (strange behavior, particular to an individual), and other traits. With this book, since I'd written it many years ago, it needed a boost in some of these characters, so, that's something I need to address when I feel ready.
What do you do to figure out what your major characters will look like, act like, belief systems, etc.