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Adjusting my Vector

Saturday, August 26, 2006
The fairy tale has been moving along. Several new pages this week, as you know. But there was something oddly stiff about it. Not stylistically, although I've managed to retain a certain formality of tone, but with the characters. It really hit me yesterday.

Artan, my hero, had just changed into the bear. He said, "I am cursed."

And my first instinct was to have my heroine, Mai, raise a brow and say, "I can tell."

I like the rhythm of it. The balance of sounds. I am cursed. I can tell. Can you hear the meter in it?

The trouble was that it didn't seem the sort of thing the character I was writing would say. But I couldn't really tell because I didn't know the character. She felt cardboard, stiff, dull. A fairy tale stereotype who would weep and fade and plod unimaginatively toward a cliche'd conclusion.

But I liked the girl who would say, "I can tell."

As I began the story, it was a contemporary fairy tale with a contemporary heroine. But that seemed anachronistic, so I copied what I could to a new document, but wrote it more as a historic fairy tale. And I ended up with that dull creature.

So now things are changing again. I'm not going backwards very much -- there is still a lot I can salvage. But I'm trying to discover this heroine. There are details I'll have to figure out later, but I have to let her come out the way she wants to right now. And right now, she's a brow raiser with a gift for understatement.

I think I know my hero pretty well. I finally found the image of him that I like. It's not Paul Gross, it's Morten Harket. Yeah, that's right. The guy from A-Ha. When he was younger, he was too pretty, but I think he's aged well. I love the lines by his eyes.
8/26/2006 02:12:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments


Luck with the heroine, Sela.
The poor dears can be difficult sometimes, can't they?

And I'm sorry--but all I could think of when I read the title of your post was, "What's the vector, Victor?"
The movie Airplane has polluted my mind forever, lol.

By Anonymous raine, at 9:28 PM  

"What do you make of this?"
"I can make a hat, a broche, a paper airplane..."


By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 9:31 PM  

Good luck with your heroine, she'll come to you when she's ready. (maybe she's shy, LOL). And there's nothing wrong with Morten Harket. ;)

BTW...love the banner!

By Blogger Emma_Sanders, at 11:05 PM  

I like the girl who says "I can tell" too.

By Blogger Bernita, at 8:35 AM  

Everything has a template, an envelope.
If I were to write a story like yours I'd immediately look for the template,i.e., another author and how he/she handled it.
But then I would be stopped dead in my tracks, amazed at my clumsy scrawls.
My favourite "template" is GRENDEL, by John Champlin Gardner
(not the mystery guy of the same name...It's John CHAMPLIN Gardner).

But after I saw what a master like Gardner did with the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf legend, I gave up.

Ah, well. Still trying to finish
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--C.S. Lewis was some cookie monster, no?

By Blogger ivan, at 9:44 AM  

Essentially, though, I AM using a template, just a cobbled together one. Part original fairy tale, part stylistic tale telling, part new characters, new twist. Hopefully.

I've just finished re-reading some Robin McKinley, who has rewritten many, many fairy tales. I can't write the same way she does, but reading her makes my brain spin off in new directions.

Thanks for the good wishes on the heroine. I believe I'll like this girl a lot.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 10:38 AM  

"...And please don't call me Shirley." hah!

Nice choice of hero.

By Blogger Jaye, at 4:32 PM  

This is a classy blog, Sela. Nice style!

By Blogger Canice Brown-Porter, at 12:52 AM  

*snort* Jaye. Sounds like that movie corrupted a lot of us!

Thanks, Canice! Welcome and please come back to visit again!

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 6:53 AM  

Not only a classy blog, but you're drawing some pretty classy commentators.
Myself, I ain't got no class; I got pimples on my ....

For some reason, I am intrigued abut your creation of characters.

Being a pantser, I have long held that plot IS character, but much of my writing is expository, so I am not sure.
One thing I have noticed in the short exerpts I have read of your work, is that you do have the magic, almost a playwright's magic.I think we've discussed this already and you did say you had done some theatre work, obviously useful, as it led to publishing.

I am going to buy a copy of NOT QUITE DEAD by next week when I get the accountant off my back. I am obviouly intrigued.

In the course of being a literary gun-for-hire, sellout, and general fraud, I did put in a short spell as theatre critic and the first play I had to review was Lesley Havard's "Hide and Seek."

What amazed me was Ms. Havar'd ability to project a source of evil emanating from a haunted house--a sense of evil so strong that it was almost palpable throughout the play.
Ms. Havard seemed to have had the ability of a thoughtful Japanese person staring into a mirror and ralizing that it was not the gazer nor the mirror, but the space between the gazer and the mirrot.
It is this space, this sort of psychological business that is good theatre. You give me the idea of knowing this space, and that is good.
Ah well. I am haunted again by the
notion that ideas are non-verbal.
It's just having the discipline and the ability to control these wild horses and rein them into chapters.
You definitely have ability. The proof's in the puddin'

........keyboarding away some time; there is nothing to drink in the house.


By Blogger ivan, at 7:12 AM  

Ivan, you flatterer! I shall develop a tendre for your kind words!

In any case, you've given me a very good idea for today's Monday Meandering. I'll stew about it and post later.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 8:50 AM  

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