So, George R.R. Martin has been making significant progress on his long-awaited sequel in the Song of Ice & Fire series this weekend, and it reminded me that I am horribly behind on the revision process. I’ve brought nothing to writing group the past four weeks. Every day people ask me “how’s the book coming along?” or “you still moving to Paris?” Sometimes they ask both at once, and I have to fight the urge to scream and demand updates on progress of their ultimate life goals. Harsh, huh? I never do it, but I sure am tempted on Mondays.
I’m doing this strategic revision series and currently I’m working on characters. Specifically, I’m working on who and what characters are in the story, which involves these God-awful bio sketches for each of them. Sitting down to write these is like trying to write something meaningful on a greeting card. No, it’s worse than that. Did you ever have a teacher that made you write “warm fuzzies?” You know, where you get a ‘lil slip of paper and have to write something nice about the person two rows across or whatever. It was never your friend you got to write about. Instead, it was someone you barely knew and all you could think of was the time you saw him digging a finger in his nose in the restroom, or it was someone you couldn’t tolerate and you can’t think of anything but “you look so great wearing fire,” or it’s this guy you’ve always thought was super cute and your head is filled with completely inappropriate comments about his dimples or how hot his back looks when he takes his shirt off in the locker room. I swear he waited to do that until he knew I was looking….
So these bios are just like that. The reader doesn’t care what I think about my characters, so I can’t write, “he has the best lines because I wrote them and I’m funny.” Giving meaning to characters and writing down their importance is completely unnatural. Characters grow in your head organically, much like friends become part of your life over time.
Yup, totally just wasted 10 minutes writing this instead of working on bio sketches. Ugh!