02 June 2006

More ramblings on Carter, because we know you need to hear all about it.

Sorry! I don't have the baby pics yet! But I will soon!

(I'm sure that everyone who visits this blog is going, "The heck with all that novel crap, we want to see the little baby!" Well, I don't blame you.)

Anyway, more novel crap.

Kind of funny, because it's going to be all about Carter's character today. I took the bits where Carter appeared in chapter 16 and copied them into a separate document, trying to see what I've written about him so far. The guy is still a cardboard cutout, which of course bugs me. I'm like, "Hurry up! Come to life already!"

Got frustrated, so I started working on the chronology of the events of the chapter, which is cloudy and uncertain. And in doing that I ended up hauling out the ...

(ringing, metallic voice): LETTERS! OF! THE! EX!!

(puts sfx away)

So I jotted down some dates, trying to put together a chronology to use as a framework in the novel. Then I started to read the letters the ex wrote. I'm trying to read them with an open mind, trying to get into the guy's thoughts and imagine, okay, what's he thinking here, why'd he say that. Though I kept breaking out of that thoughtful frame of mind with such comments as, "Yeah, right!" or, "When monkeys fly out of my butt!" And then I'd tell the peanut gallery to hush up, and I'd try to get back into the guy's mindset.

But I'm getting better. A few times I've said, "Okay, I can see why he'd say that," which helps. And I've told him, "Man, you should have chosen one course of action and stuck to it." The guy's really conflicted. He did hear me when I said our relationship was over, and he understood the words I said. But the old body said, "I want that woman" and so he kept following me around which totally screwed him up. And he did throw me a birthday party, and that was really nice.

But the guy could be really exasperating, too. In one letter he complained that when I spent time with a group of my friends, I paid more attention to them than I did to him. Reading that today kind of floored me. Okay, I guess he does have some key issues to deal with after all! But now that I think about it, it really didn't occur to me before that there might be other stuff going on in his psyche that would also contribute to his behavior toward me/Kay. That might be worth speculating upon.

If I can get a character that will live on the page, that will be most of the battle right there. One that's interesting, one that the reader empathises with, and one that has his share of surprises ....

Yo, unconscious mind, give it to me!

P.S. But hurry up because I've been working on Chapter 16 for the past three weeks and yet I see no end to it.


McKoala said...

Not just what was going on in his psyche - but why? Who let him down, or what disappointment had he had, to make him need to cling like that to a failed relationship?

Sorry, new reader to your blog. That just seemed like something that you should think about. Motivation. It might help you to unlock his whole personality.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you I *did* get the sense of who Carter who pretty well in the mss. But it was partially because I've met his type before and could infer a lot of what's going on. I think that even just getting a few more of his mannerisms down (if you can't remember very well, then make them up) that show his insecurity and also his desire to control.

Okay must run.

Melinda said...

Yep, I've been working on that as well -- issues with his parents' separation, as well as an earlier relationship he'd had, will make brief appearances in the text.

I have his motivation pretty well down. What I need now is to be able to visualise Carter, to make him his own guy in the text, both for the sake of the story and for the sake of the guy I went through with all this the first time around.

I need to visualize these scenes in the novel. If I can experience them, if I can see and hear what's going on, the story is so much stronger. But every single time I try, my brain skids off somewhere. I need to write a separate post about visualizing. Let's do that so I can explain better. Also, it's 1 a.m. and I was watching too much Star Trek: Voyager with my husband. Fool that I am. But I love Janeway's hair.

No need to apologize for being a new reader! Glad to have you on deck, and like your blog, BTW. I think my life would have been so much easier if I'd confined myself to one post -- but noooo.

Hey Anon, just noticed your post. Good to hear from you. Now I am busy inferring who you are. Shoot, let's think more tomorrow when I have a brain.