Compelling Characters

July 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yesterday was a good day for a couple reasons.  First, I got a voicemail from my nephew Sullivan (who is two, by the way) and he said: “Hi Auntie Woofie!  I miss you!”  Adorable.  Then, I met with my writing group and I always come away encouraged and excited to keep working on my book.  And!, we got word back from the agency.  Encouragement and criticism from them, but they said they’d read our books in a year.  I am flattered, and hope that I can maintain momentum.

I am new to writing fiction, and creating characters is very difficult for me.  You’d think I knew my characters by now, but I have trouble picturing them.  The agent’s criticism was that my protagonist is not compelling enough, and I completely agree.  Ian gave me a little exercise and told me to read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I’ve read (and loved) many of his short stories, but for some reason never read his so-called masterpiece.  I have a low-key weekend ahead of me, and I’m looking forward to getting to know his characters (and how he develops them).

I own a copy of The Scarlet Letter, but it’s a cheap, paperback copy.  I might be getting a little snobby about my books, but I like a nice type face, and smooth pages, rather than those rough newspaper pages.  A quick stop at Half-Price Books, and I found a Norton Critical Edition for seven bucks.  Success!  I started to read the introduction, “The Custom House”, but today (really, this whole week) has been incredibly mentally challenging at work and so after reading a few pages, I grew tired, so I turned to the tube.  The film, Delicatessen, arrived from Netflix yesterday and I started to watch it, but I’m not sure how committed I am.  The French are so strange!  (Especially the sex scene in this movie.)  I’m not sure I’ll finish it, and I guess I didn’t really know it was a about a butcher who chops up people, and finding out that doesn’t thrill me.  (How did I not know this?)  I can’t for the life of me remember who told me to watch this one.

Right now I’m watching the Red Green Show while my bed sheets toss about in the dryer.  In about 30 minutes, I’m going to curl up in fresh sheets.  Yum.  What an exciting Friday night, huh?  I’ve got to get my sleep for a 14-miler and the Flugtag!  More about that tomorrow.

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