Monday, April 13, 2009

Singing trees and sadness

Well, the week off did the trick, thanks, and we've had a couple of days out locally this weekend. Yesterday we went to see a panopticon - its more descriptive name is the Singing Ringing Tree - very Enid Blyton. It only sings in the wind, so was very subdued yesterday. Silent even.

Time to get back to work...

I decided I'd change my play idea into a story, and to offer it to WW as a serial. Seeing as I've only ever sold them one story that's probably - almost certainly - pushing my luck. But still, it's good to have an aim. Further to Pat's recent post - I think it was Pat - about getting to know characters, I dutifully wrote a half page on each of the characters and - as if by magic! - more plotline elements presented themselves. Brilliant! I must do more of this getting to know the characters. Sadly, now a story which was going to be light-hearted with odd touches of pathos is in danger of becoming 98% heartbreak. Must rein that in. I'm not sure how other people manage this because it seems to me that the further you find out about anyone, real or imaginery, the more sadness you unveil. Most people have regrets or tragedies or events that make them feel at best winsome and at worst suicidal, in their history. And that's what seems to attract me. Wow, miserable or what? and this is me when I've got a grip!

So, can you write light-hearted stuff and still have fully-formed characters? I'm not sure that the characters in all the TV sitcoms are fully-rounded, are they?

5 comments:

Casdok said...

Shame about the silent singing tree! But glad you had a lovely week off.

KAREN said...

That's a really interesting post. I did the same thing for my characters - writing an outline for them - and although it did throw up plot developments I hadn't previously considered, it also made them seem more 'real' warts and all, and like you I found myself going down heartbreak road (well not quite, but you get my drift.) My novel is essentially meant to be light-hearted, but I do think it's possible to deepen things without losing the humour altogether, by tossing in the odd bit of heartbreak here and there. Adds pathos I think:o)

Good luck with the serial!

Pat Posner said...

Good luck with the serial!
I'm glad doing Character Personality sheets helped - + it's fun doing them. Yes?

xxPat

Honeysuckle said...

Thanks, Casdok. Hope your Easter was good too.

Karen - I think that mix of humour and pathos can be a real winner. It's tricky tho' keeping a tight hold to make sure it doesn't slip right over the edge. It is for me, anyway!

Hi Pat - thanks. It was fun and also surprising. Shall definitely do it next time.

Penny said...

Another angle on this is to allow your characters a rambling monologue [for as long as you can bear!] or perhaps 'listen in' to them in conversation with a. n. other. As you say, lots of new connections start waving if you do - and not all of them necessarily miserable :)