Archive | February, 2019

On Friendships

12 Feb

One of the common themes in all of my novels is friendship.  I’m not talking about acquaintances, or the casual friendships we all have, or the instant friendships on social media, but rather the “I would do anything for that person” friendships which are so rare in our lives.

How many such friendships do you have?  Not counting family I can count two.  It’s a small number, for sure, and I’m not sure what that says about a man who is now seventy years old and literally knows hundreds of people, but there you have it.

In “Resurrecting Tobias” it was the Three Amigos, Toby, Maria, and Pete.  In the “Shadow Series” it is the group of Eli, Liz, Lyle, and Striker.  They are inseparable, they would die for each other, and, well, that’s how I feel toward my two dear friends.

It is such an important part of being human, those deep connections where warts are shown, truth is mandatory, and small talk is for someone else.  The bond is so strong . . . thoughts are shared without being spoken . . . almost like a silent language is shared that no one else can hear. It is at the core of what it means to be human, a bond like no other, and if you experience it you don’t want to ever lose it.

Am I happy with just two?  An odd question, that one . . . I am thrilled by the two I have . . . I wish I had more. I have tried, at times, but for a variety of reasons they have not worked out. So I am satisfied for having two, and wishful for more.

Anyway, you’ll find it in most of my writings . . . certainly in my novels . . . friendship and love, the only two ingredients of life I absolutely must have to happily survive.

And I wish those for you, as well . . . happiness and love to you all!

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Investment in Characters

5 Feb

I was talking to our barista the other day, and somehow the conversation came around to bucket lists.  One of the items on her list is to see a herd of wild horses running across a field.  I don’t know why, but that just seemed so random to me.  Never in a million years would I have thought of that as a bucket list item.

Then last night I watched a news special report on the BTK Killer, who, to all who knew him, just appeared to be the most normal neighbor and co-worker.  It was as though he was a random selection by nature to be this ghastly serial killer.

Now the reason I mentioned those two “random” thoughts is because, as a creative writer, I am always creating characters, giving them personalities, making them come alive in some sort of realistic fashion, and those two examples remind me that truth is often stranger than fiction, and I really do have the freedom to expand my thinking when I’m creating a “person” in a book.

I’m not sure if it is terribly important that a character be “believable” compared to my logical world; what I do believe is that we make that character someone we can invest emotional currency in.  In my Shadow series I have a character named Striker, who is a stone-cold killer, really completely unlike anyone you and I would ever meet in real life.  My job, then, is to transcend logic and make Striker so interesting that you, the reader, look forward to every scene Striker appears in, and forget that Striker is almost totally removed from our realities.

Does that make sense?

I think what I’m saying is don’t let logic stop you when creating characters.  Make the character interesting and people will accept the fact that reality has been suspended.

It is, after all, fiction we’re talking about.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”