Motivations, Inspirations, Imaginations…And Characters. A Journey Care Less and Content

Strolling

Foreword

You know how it goes. You have this idea for a topic, and you start off. Then some allied aspect else occurs to you, which begs to be added on, which in turn leads you off down an interesting lane and somehow the original topic is behind you, round a bend somewhere and you are there, scratching you’re head wondering ‘So?… How did I get here?’

The intention was to write about World Building and how the one which formed out of my work was a place I liked to revisit, just to be there. Then the theme became something else. Here was another writer wandering through This, That and The Other. For no other reason than ‘Just Because’….

The books which are part of the post are not mentioned because there is no intention to publicise them. You’ll find enough information in earlier posts. The subjects of this post are creativity, inspiration and motivations. Anyway back to that start…

The Beginning

Sometime ago I promised myself ‘Tone down on the politics. Concentrate on the writing. Be at one with your creativity,’………………..

The next day……

Back on the soapbox or picking fights on Facebook. Will I ever learn?

Learn what? To desensitise myself against thing which get under my skin? Remove some part of me?

Well, maybe not picking on an easy FB target and ridiculing them. Maybe ‘They had it coming. Taste of their own medicine. See how they like it,’ Are not worthy and mature reasons, perhaps those sentiments border on excuses. Weighing down someone’s ‘one liner’ with three paragraphs of International Relations Theory and History? Maybe that’s showing off a bit. Overkill much?

I tell myself my political and social comments should be addressed to Word Press where generally the standard of debate is higher.

The fact, though, the political part of me, is one reason why I write fiction as I do; the challenge being to try and tone down the preachiness. A character sounding off on some political issue in the middle of an action episode sounds ‘odd’. A lesser character taking up half a chapter on observations on an injustice just spoils the narrative and detracts from the plot.

Yet there is nothing wrong with placing your opinions or views in a narrative, the characters will let you know if they think you’ve been too wordy. Those lesser characters’ two or three lines of conversation will suit just as well.

On reflection my views were one of the driving forces and at the same time a bit of a challenge to fit in neatly. I loathe the latent misogyny trying to slither back into our cultures. Thus was more than happy with Three Strong Women characters appearing. Prejudices on the grounds of race, religion, adult consensual choices tend to be a red flag, so those who embrace any or all of these prejudices would truly hate my trilogy. Sometimes a mischievous part of me nurtured on Facebook would snigger while whispering ‘If anyone hates this part. Good…they got it coming,’.

Another motivation and this is not criticism just personal taste, I did not wish to read anymore grimdark or ‘gritty’. The real world had enough of that for me. Happy endings and good folk running rings around bad folk was my intention.

In addition is a little fantasy of the whole trilogy being on a public forum where I would wait for the inevitable feeble whinge that is it is all ‘woke’, whose users are such easy targets…. (Ah but there I go again. Looking for confrontation)

Yet as I go treading into more dangerous and delicate yet related ground; it has been an observation that there is more than one way to receive criticism or even ire for portrayals of characters outside of your own social, ethnic, political, belief system grouping. This observation, and the word is stressed comes from reading commentary from those whose group is portrayed, in a sympathetic or positive light and yet is perceived by the commentator as not being the correct portrayal. My own conclusion is in this fraught world where colonialism, in the European sense has died out and the old Cold War alignments disintegrated and social norms are altering it is for many people or peoples essential their group are portrayed accurately and in a balanced, mature context. Of course my get out clause being; ‘These books take place in a Fantasy World. Not this one,’, though human natures being what they are it is unlikely this response would be seen as satisfactory. Never mind… ‘You can’t win them all,’ . And anyway folks this is a world of my characters and they led me through allowing me to explore (or was that witness?) all manner of the possibilities.

Characters eh?

One advantage, or salutary warning is once you let your characters in on the act and they start to influence you, the pace of writing picks up until the creative or speculative processes reach a velocity which leaves all caution behind. In a very paradoxical, maybe cussed mood, the lack of sales encouraged me and them onwards. We reached the ‘What The Heck’ Stage, followed by ‘C’mon Rog’. We just have to go this way, you know parts of the back story have been building to this. Remember the sub-text kiddo,’. This of course led to other directions for taking the main narratives too.

Maybe the final result would seem to some a vainglorious mash-up of genres, sub-genres and styles. And there would be no argument from me. In my defence this is what happens when the driving forces within you set the imagination in movement and in turn you feel confident enough to let the narrative take control.

Should the whole work come to public attention and there is consequential criticism of the plot line, characters and result, let it be so.

For I had far too much fun putting the whole together to regret. (apart from those stupid persistent typos and a few instances of getting the names wrong- sometimes you can be too indie).

And now I am learning restraint and economy on a monthly Blog Battle*, which is as much fun being very instructive, while keeping my interaction of Face Book to a minimum.

*

BlogBattle

https://bbprompt.com/

11 thoughts on “Motivations, Inspirations, Imaginations…And Characters. A Journey Care Less and Content

    • I’m pleased you are enjoying the journey Audrey.
      I confess the confusion is there but not so much intentional and representational. An editor would have probably been very cross with me.
      Reading histories such as the Peloponnesian Wars, the Hundred Years Wars (not just England vs France- more like a bar room brawl) does have you stopping and back tracking to find out, just who was where, when…then. It was an intention to show how wars are not so simplified One vs The Other, or a set of fiendish plots which work so well up until the last chapters….All his confusion and error.
      Then there are the hidden agendas of The LifeGuard, The Silcs (of course) and The Lords of The Air.
      Hence the importance of Arketre’s Chart and her confusion at the whole situation!
      Against these back drops Arketre, Karlyn and Trelli have to navigate, react, accommodate, and of course come out on top!
      I could not have done it without them.

      When I was writing this your review of Volume II was going through my mind and the phrase ‘try and keep those amoeba under control, or at least identifiable’. Your wise and incisive words did stop the whole thing spinning right out of control.

      Thank you again for everything.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much Audrey.
        Arketre’s depiction owes something to Michael Herr’s book ‘Despatches’
        And most of the activities on the ‘Grand Scale’ are inspired by follies, snatched opportunities, luck and bad luck, deals done etc I have read about over the years.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “To desensitise myself against things which get under my skin? Remove some part of me?” Good point. It’s a constant struggle for me. Should I say something? Should I just bite my tongue> Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    When I first started blogging, I wanted to share controversial topics (still do) and have those maybe more difficult discussions at times. I like learning new things and perspectives and maybe other people do, too. However, I do try to stay away from strictly political topics as these are matches that no one seems to win anymore. It just causes more stress than anything.

    When it comes to my creative writing, though, I definitely keep those things out of it as much as I can. Why? Because I don’t like these things as a reader. I want to read a fiction book to escape (or connect more, depending on the situation), to get into the plot, and not to be lectured on what I should or should not think. So, naturally, if I don’t like reading it, I don’t write it, either.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good points Sam
      I think most writers unless they are supremely professional writers of fiction will find some part of themselves seeping into the narrative.

      I do get carried away when in full flow, but usually along the lines of themes. For instance one of my principal characters is a professional soldier, thus much of her POV is seen through a sense of duty, mixed with a jaundiced opinion of senior commanders, a gritty intention to survive, earthy romantic ideas and an irritation her civilian friend & companion keeps making sense about moderation. In other words; she’s conflicted- you can get away with quite a lot in that mix.
      Similarly the two other main folk are multi-layered.
      Thus my personal opinions get mixed into their banter (often vulgar), arguments, discussions and frenetic exchanges (also vulgar) when in action. So hopefully any possible preachiness gets subsumed as facets of the characters; particularly when they get short-tempered with something.

      And I’m going set up another WP free blog, which will be purely political and get that out of my system there.

      Thank goodness for 2,000 word Blog challenges which rein me in to the writing, the whole writing and nothing but the writing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • If it makes sense to the plot, then I am all about it. But to have a page or two dedicated to a monologue that does not really add to the story… eeee….

        That’s why I created NROP and CW (news related opinion piece and creative writing) so that people know what they are getting into. BUT – it is possible for some people to not be able to distinguish between the two and decide that since they disagree with your ideology, they also don’t like your creative writing anymore, either. I thought of creating a separate blog myself, but so far, I figured that would require too much time and effort that I don’t have to spare and not really bring me any benefit.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I now call that ‘Doing a Tom Clancy’ after reading in one book of his a character spent about two pages explaining why CEOs were more responsible than Civil Servants- nothing to do with the plot-I gave up on his books afterwards

        Getting a person’s writing and ideology mixed up; now that is a risk, which I guess is why some folk use pen names.
        Being retired I have the option to create blogs all over WP – free ones of course😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think having another blog where you “let yourself go,” at least in terms of being political, might be a good idea. In my experience, too much message in fiction, especially in dialogue, is to the detriment of the writing as a whole.
    And sometimes, maybe it’s best not to know someone’s political views. As a for-instance, in any of my longer works, I can’t really hide that I’m a profoundly religious person. Ironically, I really loved writing my ancient Greek novel because I could make that character as religious as I liked and nobody would accuse me of being preachy or writing a Mary Sue.
    I hope you find the balance you’re looking for. For me, it can be a moving target, although, like you, I’ve decided to “be myself,” at least as regards my worldview. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are indeed ways and means a writer can bring their own views and beliefs on board, as you discovered in writing your novel set in ancient Greece. In this way you no doubt enriched the story, because you were writing with feeling.
      I share with you a religious faith, but could not resist painting the overall religious authorities in my work as having tendency to be rather woolly-headed and the population mostly paying lip-service, that was balanced by more militant and also opportunistic individuals within.
      It is very much a balancing act, one character I have can see ‘retribution’ as a result of evil actions, but they are a very conflicted soldier who has seen suffering in war.
      Being on the BlogBattle is proving to be a great help, because I have to learn how to concentrate on the story.

      And. my own political blog is under construction, although being a ‘Fumble Fingers’ when it comes to computer skills coupled with Word Press’ arcane and quirky systems this is quite the ‘D & D’ adventure.

      Thanks for stopping by

      Liked by 1 person

      • Balance is everything, isn’t it? And stories need some message, even if it’s only “Faint heart ne’er won fair maiden.”

        I’m sure you’ll triumph over the forces of personal limitations, frustrating tech, etc. to get your thoughts out there. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was important.

        One time in particular comes to mind…I stayed after church for a few weeks in a row to attend this ongoing meeting–I can’t even remember what the main topic was now. That’s because my main take-away was that when we broke into small groups afterward, we were supposed to discuss the topic, but what people really did was talk about their lives. A lot of it was similar to my little skating memoir.

        I actually came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do for the group was to simply stay home. Time for each person to speak was limited, and if I wanted to talk about my life, I’d simply write a flash memoir on my blog. Everyone else…it seemed like they had a whole lot to say, but very few people to listen. Whereas if I write a story, people read it on my newsletter and blog.

        I don’t know…maybe you could consider an intersection of politics and story as well? Memoirs with a focus of why political events and awareness matter to you personally, perhaps? There’s this quote, and I wish I could remember who it was by because it was actually someone famous worth listening to. Anyway, it went something like: If you want people to remember an idea, wrap it up in a man.

        Like

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