Monday, September 19, 2011

Beautiful Worlds of Realism

While we're all aware of the downsides of the times in which we live, this doesn't mean wonderful things aren't happening. Or that wonderful things can't come from ordinary or seemingly catastrophic events from one's childhood.

I love to reach into a hat so-to-speak and run with whatever idea comes out of it. The wonderful thing about writing is that you can turn any situation into a happily ever after.

When I begin a story, I don't usually think about location or setting. My main focus are the characters. After all, it's their lives which capture us and make us feel their ups and downs as they fight and struggle for what they see as their ultimate goal to happiness. Often they figure out what they thought they wanted isn't at all what they want or only a part of it. It's creative magic.

The heart is a tender organ which when broke can take eons to heal, unless another comes along and overwhelms it with magical healing. To hook the reader and have them love, hate, cry, and laugh with a character is important, in my opinion. To have this happen, the characters need to consume me. I need to allow them to use me as a vessel to write their story through me. If I don't, they lose some of the realism and the story lacks the ultimate punch.

In most of my stories, if not all, I hope I show those who can relate a happily ever after is possible. I want to encourage them to seek it or be open to it. Isn't that what romance stories are supposed to do?

Not all of my characters have reasons to fear love and commitment caused by past hurts, but they can be hindered by outside sources. Many of us work for a business with 'no fraternizing' policies between management and employees. This can cause stress in employees who feel an attraction, but can't act on it. Stress can be manifested in many ways: anger, immature behavior, arguments, extra work, etc. It also leaves lots of room for misinterpretation. But when the feelings over power them, it can lead to an explosive interlude.

I explore this in Last Glass of Wine where Cole is Lana's boss in a restaurant setting.


How about secondary characters? I've been accused of having too many characters in my books, it's confusing. How so is beyond my comprehension. People have friends, family, and coworkers they interact with every day of their lives, why shouldn't our characters? It makes them three dimensional - complete. If done right, these people add depth and insight to further make our characters real people. And often some of them earn their own story.

Or maybe the work place is the connecting piece to a series as I've done in the Servin' It Up series although the last two books are sitting on my computer. In book one, A Psychic Hitch, we know by the end Cheri will be leaving Rogan's Steakhouse so someone has to replace her. Often the assistant is offered the job, which was Lucas. Who replaced him as assistant? Cole in Last Glass of Wine and when he left, he was replaced with a woman who then became Lucas' love interest in book three, Beth Jarvis. I was able to bring back Cheri and Allen along with Cole and Lana for a cameo appearance in this story thanks to an event Beth put together. That was fun. However, in book four, I went for a twist and left the play up to the staff using an outsider to infiltrate to catch a thief.

In Jewel of the Sun's Blood Destiny, I went a different route. Or, I should say, the characters took me on a different path. Half of the secondary characters are spirits who ganged up to bring them together along with their living grandfather's using the peridot gem. What a hot and ride wild they took me on! What's real about this, you might be wondering? I believe in ghosts/spirits, I believe they can and do have a real impact on people's lives.

I think writing realism is every bit as fun as world builders must have writing worlds we can get caught up in. And now that I've pumped myself up, I need to get back a story itching to get out.



Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, you have such a beautiful and singular way of bringing forth your heroes and heroines, and their happily ever after stories.

I agree about secondary characters. Not only do they reveal more about the heroines and heroes, they are part of world-building... the culture, the feelings, who the people are. After all, it is a world, not solitary confinement... unless, of course, it is solitary confinement, or some other scenario like a deserted island or a moon in a sci fi story, etc.

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks, Savanna.

Solitary confinement is a good phrase. It's one of the reasons I began writing. I had questions and wonderings of the hero and heroines due to the lack of inclusion of the necessary elements. I realize much was due to the publishers demands, but if a young teen can pick up on the lack - well...

My goal was to pick up the lack. ;)

Lindsay Townsend said...

So true, Bekki, your wise words about the heart. And about the wonder in the every-day.
I love the way your stories explore the beautful world of the here and now, of our own world.