Erin Lausten

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Posts Tagged ‘new’

Gnarly but Worth It!

Posted by erinlausten on May 13, 2015

Life loves Chaos! But that is where we grow and how adventures come about, so I’ll take it.

We have all experienced the increase in demands on our time, our brain-power or our attention. While I have been experiencing all three recently I am also taking every opportunity to write! Because I need to. Because it makes the rest of it worth it. Because there is a back-up in the express lane of my imagination which will only get worse if I don’t. I will always take the opportunities big or small to write and remind myself that the tortoise won the race.

Now, I know you all have been patiently waiting for Deadbeat. It is >this< close to the release. Yet since you’ve been so patient, I am going to give you a sneak-peek. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter:

“You are so not staying here.” He turned pathetic, sappy eyes on her and she blanched. “No! That worked once. Not again, I am not that stupid!”
Clarence shuffled his feet, touching his nose in obvious discomfort. “Come on Meg, I don’t have anywhere else to go.”
“No.”
“I’ll be quiet. You won’t even notice me. I’ll even clean!”
The man had never cleaned a room in his life. Megan gritted her teeth and her words came out in a hushed growl. “You left twenty dead rats in the air ducts.”
“Ungh. I did?”
He looked so genuinely confused and contrite Megan deflated. With skin like brittle bleached parchment and stringy hair, he was the portrait of the permanently down and out. It was happening. Last time he’d left, she swore she wouldn’t fall for his sappy sucker punches. Self-preservation required strength and an unyielding commitment to her decisions. She deserved her solitude. Wallowing in her misery alone was her right, and no matter how bad he looked or how obviously down and out he seemed, she was not obligated one bit to help.

He wiped his hand against his nose and the blood smeared across his cheek. But it wasn’t gross–well it was gross–but it was also…sad. Damn it, she was going to fall for it again. She said, “How did you survive the last hundred years?”

See you all next week with an update.

Cheers!

Posted in Excerpt, plotting, publishing | 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 »