Monday, July 31, 2006

Characters

"Easy reading is damned hard writing." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I've been reading the Grant County books by Karin Slaughter. I may have already mentioned this, but I'm going to do it again. If you like crime drama/suspense stuff where you don't know whodunnit, you like forensics and the requisite romance, you'll enjoy these books. I highly recommend them -- but keep in mind these are primarily suspense books NOT romance.

She's done a great job with her characters, though, and that's what always draws me in to a book. 3-D characters who are all distinctive and clear. It's what I want to do and feel like I fail miserably at. In this one thing, I know I set the bar too high -- I compare my work to the masters and don't measure up.

We all want to be perfect. At least I assume I'm not unusual in this respect. We all also realize that perfection is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in any part of our lives. So why am I frustrated when I don't get there?

I've been writing forever, but haven't been studying writing forever. I really hunkered down to learn and practice the craft about four years ago. I think I've learned and improved quite a bit since then. I should pull out the two novels I have from fifteen or twenty years ago and look at them. Maybe it would make me feel better.

Some days when I write, it feels like everyone is the same. Camilla and Laurie and Liv and Tish are interchangeable. Maybe not really, but I think that they have many similarities. And I wonder if I forget to keep those things that make them unique at the forefront so that they get on to the page as individuals.

I want to write a character driven story because that's what I love to read.

You?

2 comments:

Pearl said...

plot-driven with nearly flesh and bloof characters are my weakness.

Tori Lennox said...

I'll have to check Karin Slaughter out. Our library is pretty small and I'm running out of authors I know and love to read. :)