To coincide with events in the book, I’ve had Spider take over Res’ MySpace blog. I’ve always had a good handle on his character traits and his appearance (think Andy of Combichrist with a crooked slant to his nose from a bad break). While he has a handful of lines in this novel, it’s never been enough for me to have played much with his voice until now. But, because of his taking over Res’ journal, I’ve had an opportunity to spend a decent chunk of time on really getting to know him. And I’m digging the results.
If you’re a reader of my blogs, you’ll probably be able to see it for yourself — the slow morphing of his voice. The first posting is more like me (or maybe Res) with a few slang words chucked in. When I go back and look at it, I get the picture in my head of me when I’m trying to read other people’s work out loud. The next tries to be a little more casual, but still has too much formality for a lower middle class, undereducated punk. The last two entries (both done on the same day) are getting closer to where I need to be with him. His own style is starting to peek through (and he’s already gained one profession of love from a reader for it, so that’s not too bad).
I initially set up these blogs in the hopes of gaining some advance readership, to maybe garner some support from potential readers before I even get to print. I liked writing Res enough that I was excited to give her some time to rant about anything she wanted. But, I didn’t expect I’d be learning so much from the experience. And that it’s a visible, public process doesn’t bother me at all. With just a little work, Spider is no longer a collection of notes and a pile of statistics — he’s gone from 2-D to 3-D.
Despite its unexpectedness, the revelation that I could actually grow during this online venture has come at a good time. I’ve been revising for so long, I was becoming bored with the entire story (and everyone in it). To have a fresh perspective — even if it has nothing to do with the finished product directly — has sharpened my interest in getting out there and selling this book. I’m excited again, and it’s all because of a surly punk rocker named Spider.
It’s interesting for me to acknowledge that I want to continue these blogs, no longer placing readership as a primary concern, but for my own personal experience and growth. You see? It’s not about you guys. It’s all about me.
That sounded really nice, didn’t it? Okay. It can be a little about you, too — just enough so you won’t go away mad. You can decide for yourself how much that is. I trust you.
December 18th, 2006 at 12:10 am
I totally agree. My story — when boiled down to bare bones — is no different from thousands of others out there. It’s my characters that make it my own. They’re each an amalgamation of the deconstructed bits of everyone I’ve ever met, all filtered through my own perspective of the world. You just can’t replicate that, can you?
December 17th, 2006 at 2:20 pm
Do you sometimes wonder if the best writers aren’t also the best method actors? Like a DeNiro or Pacino, or Bale…we immerse ourselves in our roles as we work, taking on the characteristics of our characters.I have this one character, Rev. James Maloney..who is so well defined in my head that I can sit down and pound out a thousand words in his voice without even blinking an eye. It’s just sitting back and letting the man take over.You’ve got it right Avery..CHARACTER. There are no new plot lines. And there are no new characters. So creating someone real enough for the reader to identify with, to tweak the reader’s voyeuristic needs..is everything.