Facebook – General
One of the great things about writing is it can reflect every mood. Therefore you can pick what you want to read, depending on your own state of mind at the time.
I love humorous fiction which probably says quite a bit about me. (I adore other genres too – fantasy, obviously, and crime, and historical to name but a few, but I really love a good a laugh when reading).
From a writing viewpoint, you can write yourself out of a mood by writing something opposed to what you are currently feeling. It can be amazingly therapeutic at times.
You can also write yourself into a mood so beware! So writing is powerful then? Definitely – and for writer and reader alike. But there is nothing quite like a story (regardless of length or whatever format it is in) to take you, either as writer or reader/listener/watcher, to different places. Yes, music can do it too but how much music is based on stories? All of opera for one thing!
So let’s hear it for the humble story and the joys of reading and creative writing.
Facebook – From Light to Dark and Back Again
What do I aim for with any of my characters, especially in my flash fiction work where word count is tight?
They’ve got to have strong personalities, who know their own mind. They have to have a goal so readers can root for them to succeed or fail, as the case may be. (Not everybody automatically supports the hero. Occasionally if I’ve come across a lacklustre hero, I DO want the villain to win, if they’re better portrayed as they often can be in cases like this).
Whether hero or villain, they have got to have sound reasons for their attitudes and behaviour. They should be able to elicit some sympathy from the reader. (The best villains always leave you with a sneaking sorrow they hadn’t won. My favourite example of this by a mile was Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves).
Also, especially for the hero, they have got to contribute to the success of their “enterprise”. They should never win by sheer luck or coincidence. Something they did should pave the way for their win.
So what do you look for in characters? What, for you, is the most important trait(s)? Comments welcome!