Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNo Marches On

I'm up to 46,000+ words, now, still ahead of schedule for the challenge but behind on my personal goal. I may very well catch up, though. I'm getting a good view of the last part of the book, with some scenes I need to put in that'll go fairly quickly. I hope.

LeJune and Packy aren't getting along any better. Every so often, I think things are going to get all warm and fuzzy and familial between them, but the family feeling seems to be staying pretty duty-versus-heartfelt. For instance:

Packy was in the kitchen, reading diaries, and Mama was winding up a conversation with one of her friends.

"I better let you go, then," Mama said. Then she said, "Uh-huh. No, really?" and they were yakking again. It was worse than having a teenager.

Packy had a glass on the table in front of him, empty except for the leavings of one of those effervescent stomach powder drinks.

"After all the bean soup you ate for supper," I said, "I'd think you were fizzy enough as it is."

"Gave me indigestion," he said.

"More likely, it was that hindquarter of beef you had for lunch. A man your age ought not to eat that much in one sitting, especially if you have a delicate stomach."

I could see he wanted to contradict me, but either he had indigestion or he didn't.

I'm having a blast with these characters. None of them is anybody I know, but they all have bits of different people I know included in them. You who write, you know how that is. Even if you start out intending to parody somebody or, worse yet, pay a grand tribute to somebody, unless the character becomes somebody else, that character is cardboard. Or, as I prefer to say, a sock puppet.

Haven't you read books where at least one of the characters is obviously standing in for somebody real? Where a character is just so awful or so perfect the book ought to have a label on it that says Reality Not Included? Or where all the action stops so a character can flap his or her literary lips while the puppeteer makes a speech?

Anyway, I'm in the middle of a fight scene, in which each character participates in his or her own particular way, and it's getting a little loopy. Gotta go!

MA

2 comments:

Dana Fredsti said...

I have been known to write characters based very much on real people, but I do change certain things and try not to get stuck in what this person really would say as opposed to what the character should say. My favorite 'real' character is that of Chris in MFH. He's based on my brother and pretty much dead on in all ways. It served the story.

Marian Allen said...

Now, that just proves the writing rule that there are no rules for writing. lol! What does your brother think of being a character? If I base a character much on a real person, I have trouble making him/her rounded. Maybe that's a skill I need to work on. Interested in hearing about your brother/character.