Friday, October 15, 2010

Mm... liquid courage.

Hello everyone out there in internet land. As you sit reading this post, where are you?

If you're like me, it is one o'clock, you just got out of your classes, and am now sitting in a corner of the bar trying to make eyecontact with strangers.

Yes, I am that creepy person sitting alone in the bar that you avoid at all costs. Why am I drinking at one in the afternoon? Because I suck at making friends.

This may come off as a slightly skewed reason for drinking in the middle of the day. Well, being the little writer that I am, I spend most of my time hiding in my room pounding out characters and struggling to create some semblance of reality with my words. So, naturally, I'm socially inept. When people try to talk to me, sometimes I sit there and stare with mouth agape. (This also happens when I'm talking on forums, it's just nobody can see it.)

My mother is very concerened about this, being the social butterfly that she is, so she tries to get me to do things she thinks will help me meet people.

Hence the bar in the middle of the day.

Why am I indulging her? Because I am a sad, lonely kid looking for someone to spend my afternoons with. And as I'm sitting here, burying myself in my laptop and trying to work up the courage to talk to the guys by the pool table, I can't help but wonder how I can sit here, being the chicken shit that I am, and yet most of my characters are rash, rude, and often don't hesitate to speak their mind.

How can I write a character that is utterly confident in him/herself if I myself am not confident enough to talk to inhebriated individuals at my university's pub? How am I able to convey swave and sophisticated when most of the time I feel like a bumbling moron?

I realize that most of writing has to do with imagination and immitating reality. I mean, I can write about magic without ever seeing someone shoot a lightning bolt from their hands. What's so different about writing a confident character when I'm sitting in the corner nursing my smirnoff? I actually think there's a huge differnece.

Expelcially for young adult writers, there is a huge emphasis on character. Teens like people we can relate to. (Adults too, so I'm not leaving out other writers.) So you can make up how magic works, even if you've never sat and saw someone preform a spell. But when it comes to characters, you need to really experience different things to propperly articulate what you mean.

For example, if you're a realatively outgoing person, and you're writing a character that is anything but, than go to a public place (doesn't have to be a bar) and take a seat in the corner. Don't talk to anyone. Just sit and observe, and think how someone might react who was too afraid to get up and be themselves. Think about what they might look at, how they might sit, how they would reason with themselves why they shouldn't get up and talk to that cute girl/boy and why it's so much better if she/he sat there and studied for their history test.

And as a realtively reserved person myself, I need to hurl myself into situations that I might find uncomfortable (like talking to strangers) to get a real grip on how a character with confidence in themselves might act or feel in that situation.

Doesn't mean a few drinks beforehand won't help.

Now, I'm going to chug down the last of my smirnoff and head over to the pool tables to see if I can strike up a conversation with a real human being.



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