So Many Ideas, So Little Talent  

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I enjoy writing. Usually just for my own personal enjoyment. I have written some short stories for my kids (more of a series for them really). It's a ton of fun, and they enjoy reading about the adventures that we create through our collective imaginations.

My boys don't realize that most of the time, the majority of the story they read is coming from comments they have made to me from time to time. I simply incorporate the thought into the storyline somewhere. Usually it's not exactly intentional, it just seems to fit.

Now my other stories, are not for my kids. In fact they haven't been for anybody but me. I have few insecurities, but this seems to be one of them. I'm OK with that though. I realize that I will have somebody read my stories when I'm ready. In the meantime, I continue to write them, and for the most part as long as I keep them as a short story they turn out just fine. My big problem seems to come when I decide that there is more of a story to write. So I continue and then the story seems to take on a life of it's own. I know that can be a good thing, but sometimes I feel like my characters are controlling me, instead of the other way around. Is that totally crazy???

I have three in progress at the moment. they have all been stopped and then restarted within the last month or so. I have developed a "relationship" with my characters now and have been able to drop them into any story I might be writing.
I don't know if that's normal or good, but it just seems to be what I have done. Shalako has been an assassin, a ranger, a cowboy, and most recently a vagrant who is shanghaied aboard a time traveling ship (don't ask :P ).

So what do you think? Should I develop other characters, or should I stay with the three that have basically become extensions of my own personality (or vice versa)?

This entry was posted at Tuesday, October 27, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



I would stick with your personal comfort level -- if it feels good, it will sound good. I believe you will know when it is absolutely time to bring in another character.

In the past I've "started" writing two books and never got past about 30 pages. It's really hard.

You write extremely well and I always enjoy your stories.

October 28, 2009 at 2:04 AM

Flesh out the characters you have and the rest will follow. I too have thought about actually writing a semi-fictional/non fictional story about myself changing around names, people and places. I think I have a decent story to tell and it all focuses on three main characters and it will flow from there.

To me, any good tv show, movie, book, etc has to focus on a certain number of central characters to work really well. Take Seinfeld for example. There were alot of cast members on the show but it always revolved around the main four.

Good luck.

ps. on a side note I have been struggling to find a decent template for myself - might have to go to the site you got yours for some new inspiration - thanks!

October 28, 2009 at 5:19 AM

Ah, yes I think I wrote a post about something like that too. It's true that the characters you create take a life of their own. It's like they're living their story and you just have to write about it.

If you're attached to your characters, use them. You know your characters, you feel what they feel, see what they see, etc. If you're attached, it will most probably show in your work and the reader will become attached too. I, myself, have four main characters only.

My problem with writing stories is stopping. My style is literary fiction, so I love to play with words and go into descriptions, explore emotions...and emotions can be complex!

All this to say: I'd stick with your characters. What's your writing style? What do you like or want to write about?


October 28, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Thanks for some great tips guys...

I enjoy the reusable characters, but maybe I'm just lazy and so that makes for an easier start. I don't know that I have a writing style. I write fiction, although I have jumped between westerns(Louis L'Amour is my hero) to fantasy, to one attempt at Sci-Fi and I enjoy all the genres I have written in.

October 28, 2009 at 9:48 AM

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