This week: Everything I know about characters...Edited by: ember_rain
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As a Newbie, I struggled to find my place here. It took a couple of tries. Then I found a group and a friend that put a smile on my face and made me want to be here. I want to be that friend for all of you. So grab a cup of tea and have a nice read as I help you find your ways through the ends and outs of Writing.com.
The best thing about this place... Even Dyslexics like me, that like to tilt at windmills, have a chance for greatness. If you find a grammar or spelling mistake accept my apology now. Spell and Grammar check just doesn't get them all.
When I was a little girl my grandfather use to say, "Everything you need to know to survive this world you can learn from a tree." I thought he was nuts of course. That ranked right up there with my mom telling me,"If I would be quite and listen I might find that the trees talk." Yes, I had a weird family. But you know what? Trees do talk. They just don't do it in ways you might think.
I struggled adding flaws to characters I loved. They had to be perfect, if no other reason because it hurt to badly to make them hurt. I began to understand what my grandfather meant when we moved to where we live now. It is covered in trees. There are trees that lean because the ground gave way but some how still manage to stand. There is the little pine sapling that took root in a sloped area above the creek that grows along the ground because the roots never got deep enough to allow it to stand up. Then there is my favorite tree. The power company cut it down just below all the limbs when they put in the power lines. Somehow, it survived, put out new limbs and in the 17 years since it has grown to be nearly 6 feet tall. From trees, I learned its okay to let my characters hurt. It is that hurt that makes for character. It's the lightening strike that creates the hole in the top of the tree for a family of raccoons.
The family has since moved on but there is still one old Raccoon that is so old its grey that lives in that tree. Over the past two days it has stalked my last five hens old enough to lay eggs like a serial killer stalks it's prey. If I need a bad guy that looks all innocent but deep down inside is a true killer, I need look no further than that old Raccoon.
The hero of the story? Three roosters. Now these roosters were on my hit list. They had tormented the hens for weeks. The poor things didn't have any feathers left when we separated them out. Only one of the roosters was a nice guy. He was scarred by a dog attack, he got hung up in some chicken wire designed to keep them out of my garden. He now only has one eye and has been a loner for a long time. We got new chicks to replace the ones we lost due to bad weather, dogs, raccoons, and just because it decided die. One eyed Joe has become their protector. He stalks the area around their coop waiting to attack anything that he thinks might harm them. The other two though... Well they were on my hit list. One of them was going in the soup pot... then last night happened.
It's been raining for nearly a week. Yesterday we were able to let the hens out for the first time in a week. When my son put them back in their coop he rounded up the smallest of the roosters with them and didn't feel like chasing it down. It was a good thing too. Just the night before the Raccoon had dug his way under the fence, killed two of the hens and dragged them off. Last night, the rooster was waiting. The Raccoon managed to hurt one of the hens but the other two were able to get inside the actual coop thanks to the rooster. He stood watch over her one talon on either side of her injured form all night long, just waiting. He stayed there until he saw my husband come outside this morning. He then went to the gate and crowed. We were sure she was dead. She wasn't. She is now bathed of all mud, bandaged and in a pet carrier in my bathroom. She will stay there until she heals. She was injured badly.
That rooster, so close to my cook pot, is now my hero. Sure he has flaws but if I could write a children's story about the chicken turned hero, he would be a perfect example. The other two roosters? Well, Jo did what he was suppose to do and protected the chicks and the one whose name was at the top of the list... Well, he sat on my porch all night long listening for his brother to signal trouble so he could issue a warning that could be heard by us in the house.
Sure they can be mean. I have a whole different outlook on that now. They may have their moments when I want to turn them into soup but after last night... They will always be hero's to me.
Everyone, be it a raccoon, a rooster, or a tree, has at least one major flaw. As my Great grandmother use to say..."Bad things happen to everyone. It's up to us whether it will make us bitter or better." So what has happened to your characters that might not have been so nice and perhaps were downright scary? Did they let it make them bitter or better? Were they like the tree that bends rather than breaks, and finds a way to survive no matter what? Or were they like like the raccoon hurting the innocent to feed some uncontrollable need? Or are they like the rooster. Annoying as all get out yet some how... Always the hero?
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Comments about my last newsletter:
BIG BAD WOLF said: My dare's writing in areas I have trouble writing in, like certain aspects of the Erotica genre, and even Death. After all, we have our weaknesses, but if we work on them, at least we can be comfortable in them.
Steve adding writing to ntbk. said: Thanks for sharing with the newbies on the WdC. I dare you was a good article and the picks continued the theme to a T. You are encouraged to write on and continue sharing in the WdC!
Copenator out! BA, MDiv
Founder of Copenator's Crew
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