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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Writing fiction

Writing fiction for some is very easy.  For others it is very tough. I fall into the very tough category.
Part of that trouble is that even when you create fictional characters and they may be based in some way on real people, they are fictional. Trying to speak in the voice of a character who is fictional and not anything like you is very difficult for some. For me, it is extremely difficult. Being such a strong personality myself, it is hard for me not to be me. Or sound like me when I speak in another voice.
My strong suit is creating interesting plots, storylines and concepts from which to build great characters.  I know that. Fiction is something I can do well, because I start from a point that sets up the whole thing. But what to do about the characters?  How to make them seem real, within the writing and using my voice to speak through them.
I have struggled with this off and on for about two years. Finally,  the other day, the answer came to me.
I have always been a very good storyteller of true stories. Part of that is because I have a great memory and part of that is because I am a good listener. Recanting the exact words or emotions of a real person is easy for me. Since they are true all I have to do is simply recall them and put them down on paper. That is easy for me.
Fiction is hard..harder..for me because they aren't true. I have come to realize that when I write fiction I have to believe that the characters are real. I can't in any way see them as fictional,  even though they are. I have to tell myself I am telling a true story, one that actually happened, even though I am not actually doing this.
I suppose in many ways this is what the professional actor does. I admit I have very little acting ability,  so this is a challenge for me. At least now I know what I need to do to get it done. I will see if I can actually do it.
Only time will tell.

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