Apr. 8th, 2011

solanine: (Default)
Dear Friends,

Today is a rainy day here in the Philly area and a bit cool. I know they say 'never begin with weather' so I won't bore you with it but I thought I'd mention the weather because it does tend to make me a bit more introspective.

One thing I've been thinking about both consciously and sub-consciously (as I now realize) is what a large undertaking writing a novel, a good novel, is. Subconsciously this has been a major cause of my procrastination on some days and the source of that pit of fear, the tiny black hole, in my belly, where all my good intentions, goals, and self-confidence goes to die or, at least, be sucked into a parallel universe.

Consciously, as I write, I'm thinking how can I make this better? How can I draw the reader in? How can I "add tension to very page"? How do I not write derivative drivel?

It isn't easy.

There is one small clue, though, one tiny bit of hope shines, that keep me going. My characters. Small Town Ghosts was born, not out of the need to tell a ghost story - ghosts, as well as a title, didn't even appear until a much later rewriting - but to tell the story of a teenage boy who is uprooted and moved to a place where the extraordinary is ordinary (sound familiar?). But what's important, what makes the story mine to tell, is the development of my protagonist as he relates to the world around him and to the other main protagonist, in that world I created, not the premise itself.

I really like my two main protagonists. Do they always do the right thing? No, they're teenagers and they're human in the sense that I created them and they are, in some ways, extensions of me. But this story began because of them, because of Aaron's situation, and their relationship. How would it play out, moving and finding out you might not be the person you always assumed yourself to be, that the world didn't fit the snug cubbyholes you had divided everyone and everything into?

So I think about my characters as Im writing. What can I do to them and how would they react? How can I make you love them, root for them, and fear for them as I do? Because ultimately, it is the characters that a writer creates that stick with us long after we turned the last page, paper or electronic.

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K. A. Magrowski

December 2012

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