gagengirl entertainment

author’s blog

Does it ever feel like work?

March 30, 2011

The short answer to that question is yes, sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. I wouldn’t keep doing it if I didn’t. Rejections from producers and agents would have turned me away. But I keep plugging away...and now I’m my own publisher.

My favorite part of writing is creating the characters. If it’s a new character, I try to make the name an extension of their personality. An example of this is the character Max, from Mad Dog Chronicles. His given name is Maximus, which is Latin for “greatest.” It was a perfect choice for a character who thought more of himself than the other characters thought of him.

So, you may be asking yourself, “What do you mean by new character? Aren’t all characters new?” That is not necessarily true. Using Mad Dog Chronicles’ Max in another example, I created a family for him that didn’t appear in the story. He has a sister and two ex-wives that provided me his backstory.

I keep track of every character I’ve created, including ones that don’t actually appear in a story, so that I can use them again if I wanted. The characters of Stephanie, Andy, Drew, and Donna were originally created as relatives of characters in other stories. 

Keeping my database current with new characters and their information is a lot of work, and it often feels like work. But I feel it is necessary to maintain continuity across the stories. I can’t reuse a character I’ve killed off in another story, unless the new story takes place before he died.

Writing can feel like work when there’s a tough scene I’m working on. Sometimes I feel stuck, and I know to just wait until inspiration comes back. Other times, it could be an emotional scene that is hard to get through. I usually reward myself with a few hours of fun after those.

Revisions are work. While writing the first draft, I let the words flow in whatever order they come to me. It’s in the revisions phase that I have to correct my spelling and grammar and decide what to keep, what to cut, and what to add. It always feels like work.

And now on to my favorite thing of the week...

Spring. It’s supposedly here, if you ignore the “spring snow” we’ve received in St. Louis over the past two weeks. It’s the time of the year the baby animals are out at the zoo. The picture above, from a few years back, is a baby Somali Wild Donkey, with three adults. I think I’m ready for another trip to the zoo...