WARNING: WRITING CONTENT AHEAD!
It has been a while since I have posted anything about writing. Since this blog is supposed to be somewhat about writing, I figured today I would post something. Those of you who are readers and don’t care where the magic—or BS if you prefer—comes from, you can take the day off and go eat some doughnuts.
When I first started writing to try to get published, my wife would come to me after having read a passage of interior monologue–what the character is thinking, for you readers who decided to stay with us—and we would have a conversation that went something like this.
MY WIFE (with a bit of worry in her voice): All those things that character was thinking. Is that what you think?
ME (sighing and shaking my head): The character is a mentally-challenged psychotic with barely a fingernail grasp of reality and the emotional development of a fifth grader.
MY WIFE: So that is what you think?
My characters and I do not think the same way. In my latest book, County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald, there is one character who is very religious and one who is a devout atheist. I could hardly think both ways. I did it to set up a conflict between the characters. Conflict between characters is what makes a book interesting, and brings characters to life. That’s what I’m looking for. I am not writing my autobiography when I write a novel. I’m not an interesting person, and I don’t have a lot of interesting thoughts running around in my head. Usually what I’m thinking is: I wonder if there’s anything in the fridge to eat? or Should I clean the wax out of my ears now or wait until later? I don’t go to parties very often–because I’m not that interesting–but when I do go, people walking by tend to nod off from the boredom rays shooting out of me. The few who stop to talk to me usually slip into a type of hibernation, and medical personnel have to be summoned to keep them from becoming permanently comatose. I don’t give my characters my thoughts, because I want my books to be interesting and exciting. I don’t mind someone reading my book before they go to sleep, but they shouldn’t read my book to get to sleep.
In County Ops about half the book is written from the point of view of a woman. I never intended to write from a woman’s point of view, but I wrote an early chapter from both of the male characters in the scene points of view, and it didn’t work. For the reader to know what the one guy was thinking would have divulged too much, and the other guy didn’t know what I wanted the reader to find out. So I had to write it from the woman’s perspective, and she and I became good friends. My two previous books had a chapter each from a woman’s point of view, but this one required me to think like a woman for a long time and get in touch with my feminine side. I discovered an interesting thing: I have a couple pair of jeans that make my butt look big. No seriously, I’ve never been inside a woman’s head before. I know they are more concerned about their appearance than men are—granted there are exceptions both ways. When I get dressed, as long as everything that is supposed to be covered is covered and nothing is sticking out anywhere, I’m good to go. I couldn’t care less about colors or style. My wife, on the other hand, spends hours in the bathroom smearing, powdering, combing, spraying and conjuring up voodoo spells to make everything look perfect. In the book I dealt with this by setting up a situation where the woman is trying to look unattractive. It saved me having to deal with the clothes stuff, the makeup stuff, the hair stuff and the voodoo stuff.
Anyway, that’s enough about writing stuff for now. Next time I’ll do something funny. I’ve had a couple reviews posted on Amazon for my novel County Ops. I really appreciate it. If anyone else has read it, I’d appreciate a review. By the way, if any of the readers ask about this blog post, tell them we had ice cream.