IN YOUR SHADOWWritten by Arleen M. Kaptur
There is an old saying: You can choose your friends but not your family. Everyone has certain choices to make in their lives, except for that one initial launch into this world. We are born and we are who we are - no decision on our part - not even chance at some suggestions.
Your entire being - color of your skin, your grandparentsí homeland, your entire genetic make-up is right there - and now you have a choice - you can do what you believe you can, or you can carry your sense of pride or shame with you your entire life and never reach goals and reap benefits you could have.
Writing is a career where choices from very beginning are yours. In a sense, you create your character, give him all his genetic qualities, and then even write history for his ancestry. You are in control of who, what, where, and when. However, as with any choice, there are drawbacks as well as advantages. If your character is not a member of your particular ethnic, religious, or race group, your ability to relate and to transmit ideas run into a brick wall, so to speak. Sure, you can put yourself in their place, but it would be according to your standards, and your beliefs. This ingrained system of standards and beliefs were taught to you by your parents, relatives, environment. and world itself. Now that you have decided to write, how do you overcome this stumbling block?
The literary piece you give birth to should be as factual as possible, even though it is a fictional piece. If you feel you can, just in your own mind, place yourself in someone elseís soul, forget it. You canít because only person you can reach into and enter their very being is yourself. Now what do you do? The answer is reach out, network, and include everything in your research work. Listen to both sides of coin, and if you donít agree, notion to state your carved in stone moral or otherwise statements are irrelevant. Your reader needs to place themselves in your characterís heart and see world through his/her eyes. A slight remark made to one person may be a monumental insult to an individual of another genre. Donít judge, or build up or belittle circumstances. State them exactly, as best you can, from that literary personís inherited background and make-up.
CHILD'S PLAY Written by Arleen M. Kaptur
When you are around young children, listen very carefully. When they believe no one is concerned with what they are doing, they let themselves go. They make up stories, give dialogue to their playthings, and give best descriptions to animate or inanimate objects that you can ever imagine.
As writers, we sometimes lose that child-like quality of spontaneous insight. into stories we are trying to write. We work at writing, instead of letting writing work in us. Some stories I have read give mundane, dull, and very uninteresting descriptions of scenes that could be brought alive and made vibrant with right words. When you are trying to describe something to your reader, close your eyes and in your mind see whatever it is ďfor first timeĒ. You never saw it before and you are trying to take in all details. All your senses are aware of this scene or object and they all want to participate. Let go and let them. Donít let them hold back. They are artists of your creativity so taking away their paints and brushes will only harm your work.
Your characters and their personalities and antics can be treated in same way. Meet them as total strangers with no pre-conceived notions. Let them be themselves and take it from there. Some writers believe that their characters must always be super heroes in every scene. Sometimes quiet, unassuming person in room that is deep in thought or totally absorbed in whatever they are doing speaks louder than character that is explaining and touting their own horn.