Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Formation of Character and Plot


By Peter Wells

Some years ago, I was at a friend’s fiftieth birthday party and I said to someone there, “If you asks anyone, in the right way, who is over fifty, Where did it all go wrong?”  They will often smile, because on some level somewhere their life has gone off track or been derailed in some way.

That is my starting point for all book and characters. I take an aspect of someone I meet or see and from that sliver of personality I construct a character. Then I place that character in a situation, which either asks it uncomfortable questions, or changes its situation in a way that allows it to discover something unknown about him or her.  They might be physically braver than they realized, but only find that out when their family are threatened. They may be an honorable person, as far as they know, but then are exposed to an apparently cost free temptation which tests them to their limits and beyond. Their transgression may lie undiscovered for years until someone stumbles on a fact they thought was hidden.

Once I get that first sliver of a character, and place him or her in the first situation I can think of, they starts to develop before my eyes and on the page until they gain a life full of subtleties and undercurrents that might find echoes with the reader:  that, at least, is the plan.

I am not personally moved by meeting men or machines from another planet or creatures with strange habits and appetites, for which dental hygiene forms an engrossing subject. I am interested in the presence of the extraordinary within us all and in situations which at first sight seem unremarkable. I like to look at life through a microscope, and marvel at the wealth of detail thus revealed and normally hidden from the naked eye. That is my motivation and the source of all my stories and characters.
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Peter Wells, who has lived by the maxim,” If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same” has had a life, work...more Peter Wells, who has lived by the maxim,” If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same” has had a life, working in the corporate, financial and self-employed worlds, and in his spare time has enjoyed adventures on a number of continents and sailing over several seas. His writing is inspired by his working and travelling life, and the people he has met through them. He now lives just south of London and is the proud father of three daughters. His first novel, "Living Life Backwards" is published by PDMI and is available now on Amazon. His website is http://countingducks.wordpress.com
  

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