Wednesday, April 17, 2019

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: April 2019

The Author Toolbox Bloghop is a monthly blogging community led by Raimey Gallant. Join us and share our expertise on the challenging career of being a writer. Find the entire list and sign up here.

So many people are thinking about Game of Thrones this week. Well, for months perhaps. I'm sure social media will be awash in recaps, theories, celebrations, and complaints about what happens in this final season.

I thought it would be appropriate to share some George R.R. Martin writing wisdom for this month's post. Here is one of many articles that delve into the mind behind the mega-hit series.

I'm a big fan of large, sprawling fantasy worlds as created by Martin and Brandon Sanderson. Unlike older fantasy novels such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings where the bad guys were bad and the good guys were good, Martin's characters are much more complex. Sometimes they do bad things for selfish reasons but sometimes they do bad things when they're trying to do the right thing. Except for the Night King and the walking dead, all the characters believe they're acting within their rights and that their side is the right side. Martin's characters suffer and act out because of that suffering. Complexity keeps the fans reading and watching.

The other big advice I agree with from George is write what you know. He's not talking about facts, though he's a big fan of research, he's talking about emotions. When you're writing about something sad, find those sad memories in your own heart. We all have them. Is one of your characters joyful or thrilled about something? Can you remember such a moment in your own life? The birth of a child or perhaps when you won an award. Emotion isn't always easy to get on the page. Delve inside yourself to find the right words to convey the feelings your characters are experiencing.

Some things that George RR Martin can't teach us? How to write fast! LOL How many fans will finish reading the book series if they're not satisfied with how the TV series ends?

Do you feel like your characters are complex enough? Do you make yourself cry when you're writing an emotional scene?  What is the longest it has taken you to complete a writing project?




21 comments:

  1. Some of my projects remain unfinished for years (sometimes they're only a few chapters away from completion) and some I will finish in just a few months. I don't understand the way I work, yet. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt you're as bad as George. He's really letting down his fans.

      Delete
  2. I drew on a lot of emotional baggage when writing my series. It's good therapy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's not easy to get emotion on the page, that is certain, i admire greatly those who do it well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I worry I'm not hitting it exactly on spot.

      Delete
  4. I saw one of our local restaurants here was doing a theme around Game of Thrones featuring menu items they thought would represent the series. I'm sure it will be a hit, otherwise I'm sure they wouldn't have devised it.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. I doubt I'd want to eat what they did in medieval times.

      Delete
  5. Some projects have taken years. I do use past experience and music to bring emotion to the page. It helps.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some projects that have taken years too. Wish I had as many fans as Martin complaining that I didn't finish yet.

      Delete
  6. I definitely dig into my emotions to try to understand how to convey them for my characters. I watched the first season of this, but never picked it up again. Maybe I should! Everyone's talking about right now, as you mentioned. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The show got better every season. I'll be sorry to see it end.

      Delete
  7. P.S. I almost forgot to ask! If you received my reminder email this past month, would you mind shooting me a quick email to let me know? I just want to make sure everyone is receiving my monthly reminders. Please and thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay. I did receive it so thanks for sending it out. I also have it on my calendar so I don't forget. It's a great hop and I really enjoy it. I get something from it, many somethings, every month.

      Delete
  8. Good article, Susan. I think some Game of Thrones fans would argue they don't know how to get the last season out fast enough. 2 years!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I find some emotions easier to write than others. I need to think about why.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The complex characters were one of my favourite things about Game of Thrones. I think I'll make time to catch up :)

    As for my own characters? I've been thinking about them for over two years, but I'm happier with the ones I can draw on personal experience to write!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Learning from one of the best is definitely a good idea! Thank you for the article link. I do feel like the emotional component suffers in my books sometimes, so in edits I generally go through and try to find places where I can punch up the emotions. And yes, I do draw from what I know. If I don't know it, I'll watch a show or read another book and pay close attention to how those characters show what they're feeling. There's some great body language in movies!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Will definitely check out that article!

    I love complex characters. On GoT, one moment we hate someone then the next we're like, well, okay we understand why they did this bad thing or that bad thing, etc. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Complex characters are more interesting for sure. Story is all about emotion, Susan. Thanks for reminding us. Great post.

    ReplyDelete