Saturday, October 21, 2006

All About Me (and the Voices in my Head)

Well, that's what this blog is, isn't it? A while back, I wrote my Hundred Things About Me List on a couple of post-it notes. (I was at work, waiting for some software to load.) I find Hundred Things lists absolutely fascinating. You learn actual facts about someone, but, reading between the lines, you can also learn more about how someone thinks, how they really feel about things, what is important. It's a mechanism I plan to use during NaWriNoMo to assist in character development.

One of the things my writing lacks sometimes is subtlety. One of my goals during next month is to become more subtle and understated. I want what my characters don't say to be as important as what they do say.

I want the people on the page to be more nuanced and fully developed. That's the way they are in my head, but something funny happens between my brain and my fingers. They seem to get boiled down into one or two chief characteristics. I think I've only created one character so far whom I felt was sufficiently shaded in grey. And he was a secondary character so clearly my work is cut out for me.

So, Saturdays are going to be all about me and my characters days. I plan to post 10 or 20 items from my Hundred Things list (which I'll have to recreate now) and then 10 or 20 items from a character's list.

This week, it's numbers 1-12 of my list.

  1. I was born in Athens, Ohio.

  2. On 27 July, 1972.

  3. I've always liked the symmetry and repetition in my birth date.

  4. It seems like when I was a kid, every birthday party I had was interrupted by a thunderstorm.

  5. I was afraid of thunderstorms for a long time.

  6. Now, I kind of miss them.
  7. I have a hard time believing sometimes that I live in Dublin.

  8. Especially when I run to Bullock Harbour and see the seals.

  9. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland.

  10. Yeah, the river caught on fire there.

  11. That was before I was born.

  12. But for some reason, everyone has to remind me that it happened.


At 21 October 2006 at 19:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I've not thought about trying to do a 100 things list for a character, and I think it's a fucking brilliant idea.

I have the same problem with me head not getting along with me fingers when I'm trying to get some fiction down. Are you like me, in that you think about your characters ALL THE TIME? I live in my head with people who don't exist. It's rather tragic.

At 21 October 2006 at 23:28, Blogger Terri said...

Hey, I was also born in 1972 :)
In a different hemisphere, though.
But I also never imagined I'd be living in Dublin
Oh, and I love thunderstorms.

PS Cool fish!

At 22 October 2006 at 07:15, Blogger -Ann said...

SL - Yes, I am like you in that way. I've never thought of it as tragic though. I'm totally comfortable with being a weird hermit. Sometimes, life is just more fun inside my head. :)

Terri - You know, I've never been able to get my head around the idea of living in an entirely different hemisphere. I mean - my birthday is all about summer and Christmas is all about winter. If the two were reversed, I think my head might explode.

At 23 October 2006 at 23:16, Anonymous Alan said...

I was born on December 21st. So that's 21/12 (in European terms, or 12/21 in American ones). I've always liked the symmetry as well. I've also always liked that it was the name of a Rush album.

At 24 October 2006 at 20:34, Blogger -Ann said...

Alan - That's a pretty good birthday from a numbers standpoint, but did you have the Christmas-Birthday-combo present problem? I always liked having my birthday bang in the middle of summer.


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