I have been having trouble fleshing out my main character of my new story and I sought advice from my brilliant editor who suggested that I write some practice chapters with just that character. Grand idea. So, I decided to take her advice and then go one step further. I actually talked to him. First, I needed to make my main character as rich of personality as he was in my head. I invited him over for a cup of tea, a biscuit, put his feet up and relax as he told me his life story. (Okay, I really opened up a new document in Word and started a Get to know you chapter and let my fingers type but I'm an artist and I don't need to be obvious. After all isn't that the purpose of storytelling, to embellish a little?)
It is amazing what can happen when a character is removed from the hustle and bustle of the storyline and is allowed to relax. Aaron opened up as he nibbled on his biscuit and sipped his Tetley tea. His life became so clear. I found out the name of his hometown, the name of his parents, what they did for a living and found out he was an only child. Aaron's parent's considered him their miracle child. I found out how he suffered at the hands of bullies. He told me of his love of sports and the outdoors. Aaron told me how he discovered acting and how he met his first and only love. As his life spilled out into my hands, I was amazed on how little I knew about the person I created inside my head. I did not take the time to get to know him first before I thrust Aaron into the world of my imagination. I missed out on so much. It sounds silly I know, after all Aaron Brooks is not real, but after this session of him opening his heart to me, allowing me to dive deeper into his psyche, I now can go forth and make him a more richer person. Maybe someone you all can relate to. This has been a liberating experience.
I don't give any writing advice, because quite frankly, I have none. My knowledge is not that vast so I share nothing. That is why I chose to create a blog dedicated to help promote my fellow authors with an occasional rambling from a Newfie girl drama queen. However, I will make an one time exception because it comes from a person who does know her stuff; I just took it and expanded it. Next time you are having trouble fleshing out a character, invite him or her over for a cup of tea, a biscuit and relax by the fire. You will be surprised what they will reveal to you once they are taken out of the chaos of a storyline and other characters buzzing in their ear.
WORDS ON FIRE
I loathe the heat. That is why I am glad that I live in a cool climate were the hot sun only threatens to burn me alive a few days a year.
I also try to not start any fires of controversy when I write and send my creations out into the big bad world of the social media.
I am allergic to confrontation because when I do find myself in the middle of one, I break out into a cold sweat and cannot breathe.
After what happened last week, it is a wonder I am still alive to type this.
I am a regular contributor to online webpage dedicated to a very popular actor hosted by a gal who has aspirations of seeing her own name in lights.
She recently contacted me looking for some fresh content for her webpage, so I set to work.
Even though my article was for fun, afraid of the potential controversy it may cause, I posted a very noticeable disclaimer at the very beginning stating that the following article was a complete work of fiction developed from my imagination and was not affiliated with any news or entertainment article.
And as usual my opinion was not necessarily the opinion of the website owner.
My article started off as giving a brief fictionalized news bulletin that this actor was fired from his popular tv series and while I was seeking comment from the actor and the network, I got thinking about what sort of careers this actor can now look at instead.
The article was reviewed, approved and posted by the owner.
Thinking that it was another job well done, I continued on with my other work.
Imagine my surprise when later that day when I opened my email that the owner of the webpage told me that the very beginnings of a rumor what just starting around the net that this actor was fired and panic was beginning to ensue.
My disclaimer was ignored.
They took what I wrote as the truth.
Someone please pass me some water.
Immediately the website owner removed the inflammatory introduction, and posted an apology and told that it was a work of complete fiction, that the actor was still gainfully employed.
I followed up with my own explanation and apology and after posting a new and tame introduction, the crisis was averted.
This near disaster serves as a reminder just how powerful the written word can be. That even though I posted an disclaimer at the very start, one person bypassed my warning and instead focused in on the headline of the actor's firing and took it as truth and forward the news on and from there it spread.
I shiver at the thoughts of what could have happened if the owner and I did not extinguish that flame from the start.
How far would it have gone?
How much damage could it have done and what would be the ultimate consequences?
Her reputation as a reliable source of information could have been destroyed and mine as a writer could have been forever damaged.
All creditability gone.
Sensationalism over truth.
From now on I must thread lightly and be careful not to start anymore fires.
But just in case, I will carry an fire extinguisher.
DARK DAYS, WRITER PAYS
I normally use this blog to promote my fellow writers, but today I am going to talk about me, well rather, something much more important.
Today, Bell Aliant is promoting "Let's Talk" day were 5 cents of every long distance call, text, Facebook share and special tweet, will be donated to mental illness charities to help promote awareness and support, those with mental illnesses.
A person with mental illness can often feel alone, isolated from others because of the shame that is sometimes associated with it.
I know, because I feel that shame, that loneliness.
The dark cloud of depression began to first loom over me, in 2001 not long after my first son, Christian was born.
I was assured by my doctor that this was not postpartum depression, but the side effect of having too many life changes happening at once.
Before I jet ahead of myself, let me detail what my doctor meant in a time frame:
1. Mid July 2000, got married.
2. Early August 2000, told I was pregnant with first child.
3. Late August 2000, moved across country from Newfoundland to Alberta to look for work. A place were the only family was my husband's sister, husband and kids...I have none of my own.
4. Late September 2000, released from my first job because I was pregnant. Worked as a housekeeper told that I was a liability and employer was afraid that I lose the baby.(and sue them, is what they were more likely afraid of) I am not bitter.
5. November 2000, during a regular check up, doctor can not find any sign of a heartbeat, tells me there is a great possibility that my baby has died.
After a tear filled ride to the hospital for an emergency Ultra-sound baby Traverse was found, alive and kicking!
6. January 2001, moved from first apartment to another to be closer to my husband's work.
7. March 2001, let go from another job at a library because I was told I was too slow.( Maybe being 8 months pregnant had something to do with it?...again... I am not bitter.)
8. April 2001, after three days of labour, two hospitals and too many nurses to count and with no pain medication whatesoever, gave birth to a 7 lbs baby boy.
He was born with very low blood sugar and had to be tested every 15 minutes, so I only got to see him to feed him.
9. September 9, 2001 Got news that my paternal grandfather passed away from a sudden illness. I was very, very close to him, just as I am very close to all my relatives.
10. November 26, 2001 Received news that my maternal grandmother(and last grandparent alive) also died suddenly. I was not prepared for this one, she died from a heart attack and I was looking forward to seeing her when I went home for Christmas a month later.
I could on and on about the other changes that broke me, but you get the picture.
Besides, any more and I sound like a whiner.
I suffered through this depression on my own, because I was isolated.
My husband worked seven days a week, while stayed home with our son, who was already showing signs of something wrong(the beginning of the events that led to his future autism diagnosis.) with no friends, and the closest family member was my husband's sister who lived a half an hour away in the next town.
This depression was deep and dark, taking a year to see the light after finally finding some good therapy.
Don't get me started on the first run in with a therapist who basically told me that I had too good of a life to be considered depressed and not worthy of his time.
My husband and baby moved back home in 2003 and the dark cloud stayed away from me until the summer of 2011.
I never would have predicted that that dark cloud would loom over me again, but after I tried to cut myself with a knife on my wrist in response to a very stressful situation, I knew that cloud had come back with a vengeance.
For months the knife to my wrist was how I coped with my stress, my depression until I sought out help.
It has been a long, dark and terrifying road this time around, but I am feeling much better.
The knife is tucked safely in its block and I have returned to socializing, going out for walks and feeding my passion for writing.
I have no words of wisdom to pass along, because I am sure you have heard it all before, I can only tell you about my personal darkness so you know that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and can be helped.
As you already know, my passion is my writing and while I was living the deepest, darkest days of my depression on this second round, I wrote this. It is unedited and unpolished and raw, but it conveys what I was feeling at the time.
Note: If you are not already aware, when I wrote this I just begun my vampire obsession and with the the tv show The Vampire Diaries, a show about two vampire brothers who are in love with the same beautiful teenage girl. The brother's are named Damon and Stefan Salvatore and are played by Ian Sommerhalder and Paul Wesley (who incidentally later inspired my novel, Destiny of The Vampire...but that is another post for another day).
I wish vampires were real
Sometimes I wish that vampires were real.
I sit and watch as yet another vampire bites a helpless human draining he or she of their blood. I am not appalled by the horror of what I am seeing, instead I am envious. I wish I could have a being come and drain me, drain me of my pain, my desperation. The bliss that must be felt as the blood slowly leaves he body, bringing the end of everything. I wonder how does it feel for Paul and Ian when they do this to their unexpected victim even though they are only playing the part?
If Damon and Stefan were real, I would gladly bare my neck thus so I could no longer feel the pain, the desperation anymore. But Alas, vampire's are not real So, once again I slowly take the shiny stainless steel from it's home, bring it up to the light and I am temporarily memorized by its sheen, its brilliance.
Then I bring the blade down across my arm and begin to press down every so slowly all over my arm. I do not want to bleed just press down hard enough so I can feel the stress, the pain and the desperation go away. Relief is finally realized, I am calm and peaceful. I put my friend away until the next time.
Still, I wish there were real vampires.
"Quick, close the curtain! Shoot out that spotlight, it burns!" I yell, as I return backstage and return to the comfort of the shadows.
However, my vampires, Declan and Sebastian St. Clair drag me back to centre stage and warn me that it is is my turn in the spotlight, that I need to tell the world about the three of us.
To tell every devoted reader out there that we exist and that our stories are worth telling.
"What do you propose I do? I have interviewed many great indie authors in my little shed of solicitation but no one has heard of an author interview herself! Besides this is centre stage of a theatre not some wharf!"
"What Sebastian and I propose you do is to stop hiding and come out of your two month hibernation and walk into the sunshine and tell everyone about us!"
I turn to my eldest creation and decline.
"It is too painful to self-promote. I am painfully shy and I feel guilty sometimes to tell anyone about my work."
"But you know it needs to be done, if not, what would be the point of creating these fascinating worlds if you are going to keep them to yourself?" Sebastian reasoned. "Besides, I bet everyone one of your author friends have felt the same at one point, but they knew they had to promote their work to keep it alive."
"You do not want us to disappear, do you, Tina?"
I turn to Declan and Sebastian and frown.
"No, I do not. I have loved you from the moment I created you and I do want you both to live as long as possible. You are right, I need to push past my discomfort and tell everyone about you, and about me. So boys, hand me my sunglasses and daylight ring and direct me to the sunlight spotlight!"
Destiny of the Vampire Series: Book I:
|Print by Shannon McRoberts|
|eBook cover by Ida Jansson|
Okay, so you are pausing right now and wondering what sort of medication am I on to be talking to two imaginary vampires, right?
I do not blame you.
But, Sebastian and Declan St. Clair have been a part of my daily life since they came to me in a dream last year, inspired by two existing vampires, Damon and Stefan Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries, that they are very much real, to me.
About Declan and Sebastian St. Clair:
First I needed to take the image of Declan and Sebastian out of my head and put it into a picture.
Thank you to Shannon McRoberts, a fellow indie author who is also a wonderful artist that brought the brothers to life!
A brief synopsis:
Declan and Sebastian St Clair are brothers who harbour a dark secret, a secret that they cannot ever divulge.
During a fateful boat fishing trip with their father, the brothers are thrown overboard by a strange storm that magically appeared all around them.
While their mother anxiously awaited their return, the boat was lost with the father.
The brothers were washed ashore on a seemingly deserted island shrouded by mist and isolated.
After a terrible waking nightmare both brothers awoke with an irresistible thirst for blood.
While quenching this thirst, Declan and Sebastian discover that they are not alone.
The island is the home to a vampire sect, lead by an ancient vampire who invite both brothers into his coven.
Soon after, Declan commits an indiscretion and both brothers are exiled.
They enjoy their immorality until a tragedy forces each to turn to self destructive methods to cope
Declan and Sebastian spiral out of control until they are reunited with a beautiful and mysterious vampire who will give them hope.
"We are brothers, tied by blood, in our veins, what we spill. But it is a dangerous secret that will forever bind us."
Now that you are all intrigued here is the link where you can purchase the book:
eBook version on Smashwords for FREE! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/299086
Or if you are a paperback lover:
Questons? Comments? Please feel free to leave one below!