Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Writer's Side : The Character's Side : The Reader's Side

I like to look at things from different angles. Sometimes I sprawl out on my closet floor and look up. The hanging clothes are more interesting that way. They look odd, long, with dark holes disappearing into the sleeves. I also noticed there is an attic door on the ceiling, and one of the light bulbs is out. 

Things look different when you look at them in another way. Take a disagreement, for instance. I believe I'm right, you believe you are, and a bystander might think we are both in the wrong. It all depends on how, and where you are, when you are looking at something.

Another way of saying this is:

This morning, as I got out of bed, woken again by my six-year-old at 6:15 AM, I smashed my little toe, on my left foot into the corner of my wall. It hurt. It burned. It sent chills up to my ears. Tears blurred my eyes. I scrunched up my face. I hopped up and down on my right foot. The horrible sensation slowly faded, until I could walk again.

I went downstairs, where my 9-year-old backed up and stepped on the same little toe. I pushed him away, and yelled at him, hopping again, and holding my abused toe.

He didn't mean to do this. It was an accident. But I was angry. I mean, really, how many times do my boys step on my feet in a day....I'd have to guess at least 2-3. And usually I am in sandals. They love being so close to me, that my toes take a beating.

So take that into consideration, and the fact that I just kicked my toe into the wall,  I freaked out. 

But if my day would have started with me being able to sleep in for a change. I get up, walk into my bathroom, avoiding the wall. I feel good. I come downstairs. My son steps on my toe. It would be annoying, but I would not have freaked out. I would not have yelled at him for all the times he's stepped on my feet before. It wouldn't have hurt that bad.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, your characters have things, and episodes in their backgrounds, that will sway them to act, or not act a certain way. If your character has never been stepped on before, one time won't make them yell. But if everyday, they are pushed around, and hurt, that one time might make them really lose it, once and for all.

Characters also have their own point of views. You the writer have your agenda. You chose your characters, where they live, who their friends and family are, and what type of jobs, or lack of careers they have. 

You think you have the book ready to write, until your character starts speaking to you. They have their own point of view on everything, and you the writer, must listen.

Your reader also has their own point of view. They may have come from a family where they were abused, so being stepped on hurts, and may even cut deeper. Everyone who comes in contact with your story will see the episodes through their own point of view.

So when you are writing, take a moment to see how you are viewing the work. Through what type of eyes do you see the world? How would your character see the same incident? How will your readers? The more you explore this, the deeper your writing will become.

Good luck!
And as always, Write~On

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