Erin Lausten

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Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Spaceship!!!

Posted by erinlausten on September 10, 2015

Yes, Benny is my favorite. If I must choose just one insane, walking plastic man of joy, I will pick a rabid astronaut every time. Why do I bring this up? Because I was stranded in my house with a sick 7 year old and a husband recovering from open heart surgery. (I will let you guess which one gave me more puppy dog eyes and requests for snacks or juice.)

I took solace in the Lego Movie. Thank you Lego for providing a no-brainer gift for whatever instance requires it; where my son is concerned. Thank you Lego for grabbing pop culture by the throat and demanding we hand over our money. Please, take it. Take my money. I had a quiet two hours (or however long that movie is) and a perfect representation of my mood in Benny.

Can I build it now? Now? Now?

I have this same voice in my head at all times. New ideas are throwing shoes, banging drums, and doing cartwheels in my brain. Imagine about twenty Benny’s jumping in your head. Sure, it might indicate a chemical imbalance, but I’m not going to tell my therapist about this, are you?

Anyway… So the point of this heretofore pointless post: Deadbeat is out. And the great thing about Deadbeat is that I got rid of a good forty Bennys in that one. I had so much fun writing the story and not just because well, hello… Vampires? But because these ridiculous scenes kept popping in my head and I actually had a place to put them.

As you jump in and run through this one, send me a note, throw in a comment, or just send a telegram (no more of those? Hmm), Smoke signal (oh, culturally insensitive, but I’m part… yeh, nevermind), carrier pigeon? (No? What do you mean they’re all dead??).

Ok, I don’t care how you tell me, but I do want to know what your favorite scene is. I’m dying to know… mwhoohahaha, get it? Dying. A book about vampires? No? Sigh, ok. I’ll stop.

Cheers!

Erin

Posted in character development | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

We’re in a relationship – Surprise!

Posted by erinlausten on September 5, 2013

Writing is about relationships.

Ultimately the biggest relationship is established between the story and the reader. However, beyond that there are relationships between the narrator and the characters, characters with other characters, the characters with their situations and the characters with their environment. Each of these aspects creates a unique perspective. For the author, the challenge comes in presenting these perspectives effectively in unique and authentic voices.

People are people. And there are so many different kinds of people. An author is only one person, with their own personality, worldview and perspective. Some of the greatest stories present that perspective in an engaging and dynamic voice. This drives the reader to absorb the story and experience as something new and fabulous.

But within a story, an author must also present perspectives that may not be their own, as illustrated by their various characters. The most talented writers can create characters with vastly different perspectives that build a story arc which is both believable and fascinating. We want authenticity in our stories, and authenticity relies on a world that mimics our own. No one person sees the world exactly the same.

So how does the writer do it? Not without some serious work.

It is easy for all of us to become insolated. It is more comfortable to surround ourselves with like-minded people. We strengthen our confidence in our own worldview by accepting those things we like and disregarding those we do not. We watch the news we like, read the websites that justify our feelings, and discuss politics with others in our political party.

Things get interesting when we break beyond the safety of our perspective and seek out those that think differently or even directly contradict our ideas. Even more difficult is stepping away from what we know and believe to try to understand the thoughts and worldview of another in a way that is objective and not qualitative. The question is not to see if the person is right, but to be able to see how that person may react to any given situation.

When an author can create a unique personality with opinions, belief, history and experience so vastly different from themselves, it is an amazing feat. It is one that I strive for with varying degrees of success.

So, why is this on my mind today?

I have gone beyond my comfort zone in my latest manuscript and I have learned so much. In general I have limited my characters with control over the story’s perspectives. In the Viator novels, I have had two characters with points of view that the reader is privy to. In other stories, I have limited it to one. But in the latest Cibola novel, I have five active points of view. Is it overkill? Possibly. But I have been able to explore the motivations, philosophies, needs and desires of five extremely different personalities. Some are dark while others are optimistic. Some navigate the world with morals that leave me uncomfortable and others have personal challenges I do not have myself.

As I draw near the completion of the first draft, I am struck by how vivid the relationships between these characters have become. I have seen growth and challenges I could not have seen otherwise. They have taught me so much and I find I am looking forward to the end, when I can step away for a while, then return to look on these fascinating people with a new eye.

This is why I write. This is the magic of stories. How fabulous.

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »