Thursday 13 June 2013

June TCWT Blog Chain!

 Yes, it's here again! And this is what we are posting about this week:

“How have both the people in your life and your own personal experiences impacted your writing? Do you ever base characters off of people you know?”

I am going to answer the second question first, because I have the shortest answer for it: no. I don't really base characters on people I know because I am absolutely rubbish at knowing people (for those of you who have read or seen An Inspector Calls, the answer to your question is no, you creep). I can never ever guess people's motives for anything, so basing a character off a real-life person's personality would be like writing a big question mark on their face. And it turns out that you can't do that. I do, however, give the occassional character the name of a person I know, though I always find that slightly cringe-worthy because it is like trying to force that question mark on there.
 I prefer to emulate characters that I read about or see on TV. For example, I once wrote in a character profile, 'like Michael off Eastenders', because at the time Michael made about as much sense as actual real-life people, but in a fictional way. Of course, Michael later became a dumbed-down version of his former self, but my character just got even more complicated.

Question numero uno. Okay. This is a big one. My personal experiences are basically my writing, they have such a large impact. Sure, I've never been chased down by the fairy Mafia or travelled through time, but the motivations behind all those things stem from the experiences I've had, which can be anything from watching Doctor Who for the first time to finding out that the world isn't as equal as it likes to pretend it is (yes, that is what brought on the fairy Mafia). Just having a short conversation with the right person can spark a whole new world into being.
 Which brings us nicely onto people and how they impact on my writing. People are the only reason why I can write (if you don't include sweets and fame). You see, I had this thing, called a teacher, and this teacher thing taught me how to write letters and spell and stuff...
I'm joking. I taught myself how to do all that. But honestly, school was helpful in getting me to write. In Year Five, we had an hour of story writing a week. An hour. At school. Seperate of Literacy (English) lessons. It was like a child writer's Nirvana or something, and it was helpful -- I found out how not to write boy characters (apparently boys aren't all whiny and cry-y [I'm still working on not writing my boy MCs like that {while my feminist side shouts, 'no! they are as wimpy as anyone}]) and that I use exclamation marks too much -- can you believe that?!!!!!!!!!!!
 My parents have also had a giant impact on what I write because they've always encouraged me to write, even though they hardly ever see any of the fruits of their labour. They've bought me enough gel pens (and, more recently, super-fine-line felt tips) to open up my own WHSmiths -- and don't even get me started on the Jacqueline Wilson notebooks that I absolutely coveted as a pre-teen.
 Almost more important than that, though, is the awesomeness that my mum found via the Internet. In fact, the two-times awesomeness she found on the Internet: an advert for a local young writers' group and NaNoWriMo YWP. The young writers' group has taught me how to write poetry and how to perform pieces in front of people with a voice that sounds like your character's one, and also that people can be mucho awesome and a source of inspiration for life, writing, the universe and everything. NaNoWriMo YWP taught me that I could write something nearing novel-size, and write the first draft in less than three years. But best of all, the NaNo forum turned up a wealth of bloggers, whose blog posts in turn introduced me to TCWT, and a community that is unbearably cool, my favourite type of weird, and inordinately wise and helpful. Without the Internet community, I wouldn't even know how to edit, that I had to, or even what a query letter is.
Hurray for the Internet community! Speaking of which, there's a few of them here (it's like this was planned or something):
26th – (We’ll be announcing the topic for next month’s chain.)

Charlie out!

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