Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I came to realize, as I was reading through my current writing piece that I throw a lot of what I've lived in with the ideas and characters.
I know we're supposed to write what we know, and I know what I know, however, I'm worried this monotonous cycle of stories will always present themselves in my work.
I've read several authors and their characters seem to be the same person throughout their books.  These are not amateur writers I'm talking about, these are mainstream, VERY well known authors.
I know there's a certain voice that every author has, but how can these professional writers get away with the monotony?
Are they allowed just because they are professionals, and they know the character archetype is the right for the story?

How do I pop out of my own box?
How do I come out of who I am as a person, and learn other people?

How do you do it?
-people watching?
-eavesdropping on conversations?
-study of other writers?


  1. Just curious. Are you still writing what I think you are writing, or have you moved on to something else? I know I haven't been around to give any input on it, but I still think it is an awesome idea for a story. As for your blog, I know exactly what you mean by the characters being similar in stories. I think that it helps readers to identify with the stories. Like recently I read a couple Sherilyn Kenyan books and the main female character was a lot like myself, so I was able to get into he stories better and am now on a search for more of Sherilyn's books. Not every reader will identify with your character, but those who do, will come back for more.

  2. You have more than one question here, but let me address the one you're not outright asking: We probably all (or most) do this at some point because we're beginners. I laugh thinking about what I wrote in high school. My main character was the most thinly veiled version of myself. Her best friend was strikingly similar to my best friend. Etc., etc. Recently Mary Kole of addressed writing about issues you don't know firsthand. At some point, I think, to create a *good* novel every author has to jump out on that ledge and write things they -don't- know about. Now, I'm not saying you're a bad author by any stretch - the very fact that you recognize this problem signifies you're in the process of moving past it - but it definitely is a common problem!

    Okay, that aside: people watching certainly helps. So does getting to know (really know & hang out with) people different than you. Read widely - don't just read contemporary romantic CBA fiction if that's what you're writing. Read lots of things to get a feel for how other people do it. Watch TV & movies objectively instead of in couch potato mode. And by far: make your character's three-demensional. Give your character their own motivation, history, etc. Even if you never spell it out in the story do it for yourself. Especially when you flesh out your "villians." Hope that helps! Love ya!