THE WRITER’S IMAGINATION, TOO!
As the month of November reaches into December, most of the world will be celebrating a seasonal time of Thanksgiving. Even though many years have passed, I can still smell the aromas coming from our kitchen as my Mother created the holiday meal. November 1st was her scheduled day to call the poultry shop and order the turkey. By the 15th, all the ingredients were stocked (and stacked) in our kitchen. Then two days before “Turkey-Day” she would wash and drain the turkey, set aside the “innards,” and bring out the electric counter-top oven, slow-cooking that bird for close to 48 hours. Are you hungry yet?
As one of those “pinch of this and dash of that” cooks, my Mother had a collection of handwritten recipes from family and friends. However, wanting to experience different tastes she began collecting cookbooks. Today our local and online booksellers offer us exciting options on their cookbook shelves, so that we can appreciate the creativeness of chefs and the designers of unique recipes.
By now, you’re asking WHY is this blogger talking about FOOD, and Thanksgiving turkey on this Writer’s Advice site? Answer: Every time I see a table “set” for family celebration, I barely notice the beautiful place settings, the napkins, the water and wine glasses, the candles and flowers or any of the other special touches. I see the characters of my current novel seated at the table. Like my Mother, who added “a pinch of salt and a dash of garlic” to almost everything, my writer’s imagination wants to do the same with (and for) my characters. Maybe the following points will feed your imagination, too, and help you add more meat (detail) to all of your characters—even the supporting “actors”—as you view them around the table. (Draw a rectangle on a blank piece of paper)
- Place your Protagonist and Antagonist at opposite ends of the table by writing their names at each end of the rectangle.
- Place the name of one main supporting character of each of those two characters next to them at the edge of the rectangle.
- Then begin adding the other characters from your story along both sides of the rectangle/table.
At this point, I hope you’re having a little difficulty in deciding which of the supporting characters “fit” as true associates of the main characters. Not every antagonist or protagonist ally will be on their side—which is where writers begin to have a clearer understanding of the complexities of the specific characters. I like this exercise of Character Development because it allows me a different perspective of each person as they look into the eyes of the person seated across the table. It also helps me feel the intrusion, comfort or discomfort levels felt when one characters is seated between two others. I do hope you’ll try this technique as I believe it will give you a great amount of material to help you create believable people who will share the story you’re writing.
AND, if you’re still hungry, try one of the meals from the delightful collection of America’s
Favorite Recipes by Uma Aggarwal. Her focus upon our U.S.A as being a “melting pot” nation that incorporates cuisine from all the different cultures among us, will tickle your taste-buds. Better yet! Start collecting recipes from all the folks at your Thanksgiving table and publish a book of your own! ⚓︎
ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.