Emily Casey is the author of THE FAIRYTALE TRAP, excellent Twitter company, and when of my local writing buddies. Welcome to the blog!
Thanks for letting me write on your blog. I’m really excited to be here! (I love this blog.)
When I tell people I’m a writer, the response I get is usually pretty positive. People think I’m creative and ambitious. I’ve even been called “cerebral” and “literary” before. This is very flattering, but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut after that. Like George Costanza, I’ve learned to leave on a high note, because it’s all downhill from there.
Because if I open my mouth again, someone’s going to realize the truth: I’m actually insane.
It’s true. By most standards I think many writers are certifiable. Think about it. What do writers do? We sneak off to be alone where we can play in fictional worlds we’ve created. We literally entertain ourselves with figments of our imagination. And that’s not the worst of it.
Have you ever heard a writer talk about their characters? Let me give you an example. The main character in The Fairy Tale Trap is a teenage girl named Ivy. She’s spunky, sarcastic, and I think she’s really funny. But that’s not to say that I’m funny for writing her dialogue. No, no. Ivy came up with that. The words came to my mind as I was writing. I can’t take credit for that.
I’ve talked to my husband about how Ivy has been such a big help to me. “She changed me as a writer,” I’ll say. “I owe her at least a few books. Ivy deserves it.” (My husband, who is very supportive, usually doesn’t reply when I say things like this. Bless him.)
Writers sometimes have conversations WITH their characters, as if they were right there in the room with them. This can be done silently, within the writer’s mind; by writing the conversation out; or yes, even by talking out loud to the non-existent character.
Aside from characters, writers build worlds. Some of us go all-out and develop governments, religions, histories, languages, dialects, new forms of transportation, costumes, and species. Then we try to picture ourselves in these worlds and try to understand what it must be like to live there.
Then there’s plot. This is probably the scariest part of all. Imagine a story where the character gets his way all the time. Everything goes right for him, everything happens exactly as he planned. Sounds boring, right? A good story needs big problems. Cue the craziness.
The first draft of The Fairy Tale Trap, for example, was incredibly dull. During revision, I had a really hard time coming up with ways to shake things up. So I turned to a writer friend of mine. He writes thrillers, so I knew he would know how to bring disaster upon my characters. He gave me an idea that led to a huge problem for Ivy. When I was done, Beast wasn’t friendly any more. He had become a monster inside and out, snarling and snapping and generally trying to kill the other characters. And it was wonderful.
Seriously, if you follow writers on Twitter, you sometimes get some strange tweets. Like:
“I’m killing off a few characters today. It’s a good day.”
or “Let’s see her get out of THIS one.”
or “Dodging bullets, sharks, poison…what am I missing? I know! I’ll take all the oxygen out of the room!”
These are not the tweets of a normal person.
So next time your tempted to have a chat with a writer, consider this: You might not want to dig too deep.
Bonus Giveaway! Tell us in the comments what fairytale you'd like to be trapped in and one lucky person will get a free copy of THE FAIRYTALE TRAP!
The next stop on Emily's tour is KAT'S BLOG, be sure to stop by!