Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day Two - Inspiration and Perspiration

My main goal this week is to add emotional depth to my characters. Particularly the protagonist of my middle grade mystery, Maple.
Since this is a mystery, Maple doesn't have to be quite as touchy-feely as say, a coming-of-age protagonist might be, but she does need to have emotions and react to situations. Otherwise, she'd be a perfect, crime-solving computer. (hmmm.....there's a future book idea)
When we exchanged what we have so far, Steve also loaned me a book he thought might help me in the character development arena: The Writer's Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, PhD. The book "includes profiles of human behaviors and personality types." The author is a psychologist, so it is fairly detailed and in depth.
But I have to admit, what intrigues me most is the cover. You've got to check this out.

I know the resolution isn't too good - maybe I'll resort to taking a picture of the actual book.
Talk about identity crisis! But this can happen when writers try to pack too many quirks into one character - you end up with the Queen of England drinking beer and wearing cowboy boots while holding a meat cleaver and playing the guitar. Okay, so probably any writer would notice before it went that far. (the recent reprint has a calm blue background and puzzle pieces coming together to form a woman's eyes - probably sells better, but not nearly as interesting)
But it is something to keep in mind. We are all more than what we appear to be on the surface. (at least I hope I'm more than the frazzled writer who often forgets to put on her makeup and stumbles in high heels)

On to the inspiration part. Last night I attended the OKC SCBWI monthly schmooze. Up and coming illustrator Jerry Bennett shared an illustrator's perspective on picture books and graphic novels. He urged all of us to allow our imaginations to create a sense of atmosphere. He also showed us his portfolio and I was really blown away by his work. I hope I am lucky enough to be paired with someone as talented as Jerry when my book gets published. (even young adult novels have cover illustrations)

And, I was excited to learn....(drum roll) there is someone else reading this blog! Fellow writer Larry Mike Garmon from Altus is accepting the challenge to write more during Spring Break. Welcome to the Pact!

Okay, enough procrastinating, Maple's got a mystery to solve! I've got to get back to work.

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