Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Literary Fertilizer

ImageChef.com Flower Text

Literary fertilizer:

Vacations gone wrong
Moments of uncharacteristic madness

Ever happened to you?

If not, well. . . I feel bad for you, ‘cause this is the stuff that the rich soil of literature is made of. ;0)

Got crap in your life? Don’t ignore it. Whine about it all you want and put it to paper! ;0) Shape it. Mold it and watch your characters come to life. It’s kind of like your own personal Frankenstein. (If the thought of your work being compared to a monster freaks you out, then use your creativity to insert your adaptation here ____________________.)

Some of my examples:

I still remember the pain from my broken arm 20 years ago. It broke in two. It looked like a V made of flesh. (Why didn’t Sesame Street ever use that visual on the letter “V” episodes?) The dr’s had to put Humpty Dumpty back together again by surgically attaching my bones with metal plates. Sound painful? It was. The Tylenol with codine barely took the edge off. You better bet your bippy that I will pass on this pain to my protagonist. Why let such a vivid memory go to waste?

Bad vacation? Think of what your protagonist might do in your situation. How is his/her personality different than yours? What would they do?

Sorrow. There’s no other way to say it. It stinks. Nobody wants it, but it's gonna happen. But if you pass it on to your characters, they become more authentic and your readers can relate to them, maybe even help.

Writing down what ails you, is not only theraputic, but you can use the emotions and thoughts to mold current or future characters in your story(s)

Funny how the very things that seem to suck the life out of us are often be the very thing that breathes life into a character or breeds creativity. Ironic. Isn’t it?

So, my challenge for this week is: grab a shovel, dig up that crap and cultivate that literary soil! There’ll probably be a whole field full of wildflowers waiting in your future . . . after all, life emerges from the dirt, not from gold, the mall or even e-bay. It's comes from the stuff we try to sweep away and forget.

Plus, you never know. . . you may even help someone along the way.


Catherine J Gardner said...

I have enough bad to fill ten novels. What can go wrong, will go wrong in this house. :)

Mary Witzl said...

I recycle plenty of crap and while I don't eagerly look for more, whenever I get it, I figure it ought to have some use. And it's a shame to waste it, isn't it?

C.R. Evers said...

Catherine - I seem to have that problem too. Hopefully we'll both see lots of wildflowers in our future! :0)

Mary - I definately wouldn't go searching for it either, it tends to seek us out instead, doesn't. At least we know how to put it to good use! :0)