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Monday, September 27, 2010

Is your writing secure?

This morning, I had to truck it over to the Social Security office. I had a list of items that I needed to take care of. Normally, this would not be my first choice on a Monday morning. But, I arrived just as the doors opened and with only one person in front of me, I didn't have to wait long.

I filled out the form to replace my daughter's SS Card and then my number came up. I went to the little desk & spoke with the lovely woman behind the counter. I produced a birth certificate & an insurance card with her name on it. Then, I had to file a change of address for my son. And, last, I had to procure a series of forms to ensure that my daughter continues to receive her payments after turning 18.

At first blush, this might not have a darn thing to do with writing. However, as is my wont, my brain takes mini-vacays of fancy. This morning, I daydreamed about my current MC.

Identify Yourself, Please - What mediums to use to identify your characters? C/G/M worksheets. Full character outlines. Background data forms. Or, none of the above. All of the characters that grace the page own a distinct set of character quirks & identify markers.

Location - When writing, we tend to identify time & space for our characters. Does the location/setting work for the characters? Further back or further ahead in history alters reactions, expectations & overall motivations. Where your characters are dropped has a profound effect on how the entire story types out.

Take some responsibility, will ya? - How our characters deal with the cards they are dealt or have dealt themselves, lends itself to the internal workings of those people. Whether they do or don't take responsibility may not be integral to the story, but an arc of internal growth is shaded in much the same coloring. Regardless of the internal grow-up factor, our characters reaction is directly determined by the series of events that unfold.

While most trips to the SS office don't end as happily or succinctly, this one did. And, as an added bonus, my brain left the ranch. Which sometimes has its own benefits.

Question: How do you reign your characters in when they start evacuating the reservation? How do you keep them from crossing the electric fence to begin with?

Happy Writing,



  1. I've often wondered about using Tarot cards to delineate characters, but haven't bothered up to this point.

  2. Kay,
    That is terribly funny. And, something I have never thought of. When all else fails, I might have to give it a go.