Saturday, April 9, 2011

♥.•*¨H is for . . .



I attended a writer's workshop and the president there discussed the down and dirty facts of writing; not being afraid to open up. Should I write about the real life pangs of child abuse? Should I describe how it feels to be sexually assaulted? How about the ugly thoughts of murder? Stephen King talks about honesty in his how-to book, On Writing.

So, what is honesty?

Imagine a fierce prince. He swears vengeance upon the neighboring kingdom. It shows in his face, his  physique, his demeanor--but  he never lifts a finger to hurt anyone. Would you believe that  he could really follow through with  his vengeance?

I know I wouldn't!

But that's  how my novel started off. I didn't want any kind of violence in it. He sounded like a flake. Why would anyone want to follow him? I've grown since--I've had my characters drink blood--literally! I ain't squeamish no longer, though I won't do gore baths.

How honest do you keep your MCs?

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  1. I love the sound of your prince story! I want to read about him! :D

    I'm debating whether or not to have my character vomit in my contemp romance. It's not very romantic, but it's realistic for the situation. So...yeah...haven't written that scene yet :D

  2. Hi, Trisha... LOL! Oh, i think it'd be great to have your MC throw up. I bet you'll have tons of fun writing it, too! Don't you just love making your characters do crazy things? Sometimes they grow a mind of their own and disobey! :D

  3. I think characters take over and do their own thing. Sometimes it's pretty gruesome but, hey, if it fits the story, you have to go with it. I can write about axe murderers easily ... and faint at the sight of a drop of blood. :)

  4. I think honesty comes in many forms and in terms of writing, honesty is what you owe in my blog for "G" yesterday (sorry it's a little lengthy but necessary) and honesty is very freeing.

    I enjoyed your post greatly!
    Happy A to Z~

  5. Oh wow!! Great H post!!! I think you have to be honest with your characters and therefore to your story. If you are writing about a baddie then the baddie will do bad things! that's just how it goes! A hero will be heroic but may have to make some harsh choices too!! Makes for a better story!

    Take care

  6. Hi Elizabeth
    Thanks for this Honesty post. I think, as a reader, the worst thing to ever feel about an MC is 'Oh, no - he/she wouldn't do that ...' (Whether that's 'he/she wouldn't steal that old lady's money,' or 'he/she wouldn't not steal it, if it was there ...' - If you see what I mean.)
    Thanks again
    All best

  7. Honesty of emotion is really important to me -- as a writer and a reader. There's no payoff if there isn't a little risk to be honest.

  8. Great H post.

    When I started to write, I found it difficult to show my MCs less-than-noble traits and make them suffer. But I want my characters to be authentic, so I forced myself to do it. It gets easier every time.

    Like L.G. said, 'there's no payoff if there isn't a little risk'.

  9. I actually find it easier to write when I just let it all out, honesty works best for me. Although, I have certainly hit road bumps where I debate how far to go with the honesty. Great post!

  10. It's more about how far to go rather than deciding if I should go. Once I've decided to write, I've decided to go. Not going too far is the trick.

  11. In the genres I mainly read, it's the things like that, that give meat to a story and keep it from being too boring. Nice post!

  12. I think you hit on something that is a big problem for me. I'm highly non-confrontational, so I have great trouble getting my characters into arguments. I have to really work at it.

  13. Honest stories, no matter what the subject, come out better than any other. I like how you let your characters decide!

    Love your blog layout, too!

  14. I try to be completely honest in the first draft. Let it all out. In the revision is where I plan to evaluate how far is too far.

  15. I agree with what Kari wrote. We have to be emotionally honest always, but we also need to evaluate for each story which aspects of that honesty are working and where some emotions might not hit the mark for that particular work.

  16. I try to have my characters be as authentic as possible. But I do have to consider what the story calls for, if I'm writing a tale where the main focus is on rescuing a busload of kids from terrorists, then the hero's suicide attempt in high school probably won't come into play. Now his dread fear of small spaces might. :)

  17. Honest MCs. Definitely keeps the character likable! Love the highlighted hs :)

  18. It's not always easy to get a character to do something you don't believe in but when you get caught up in your own story it usually just flows.

    Great entry for H. About time I visited for the 'fest.


  19. write your heart follow the light until you see god looking back at you. then go one step further and see what he does.


  20. Hey, you guys are so good! Thank you for leaving your comments here with me today. I really enjoy reading your thoughts on the topic! :)


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