Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thursday's Children: The Mundane

Welcome to the Thursday's Children Blog Hop, where you can share your sources of inspiration during your writing journey. Make sure to check out the other bloggers via the Linky List at the bottom of this post, and if you want to join in, just sign up and go!


What's your MC's favourite food? What about their favourite sound? What's the funnest thing they can remember?

These are just a few of the questions @Petr3Pan asked my MC, Neas, in one of her interviews. (She's an interdimensional reporter, you know, and she zips through time and space, interviewing the MCs in really cool books. You should try it some time… no, really… go now.)

So I have to tell you, when I saw the first question, about food, I was shocked. HUH? Of all the cool things you could ask Neas about, you want to know what his favourite FOOD is? Look around you, you're ten seconds away from being killed, captured, or worse… and you want to know about FOOD?

Then it hit me. I didn't know. I actually didn't know. Not once does the topic come up in my MS. Through all the workshopping and plotting and figuring out someone's "yearning" and "conflict", you want me to think about something as mundane as food? Or sounds? Or games? But… once Neas finally gets around to answering the question, a lot more comes out: his favourite place to get that food, what he thinks of the food in other places, and what he's willing to risk to get at something tasty.

And then it snowballed. Well, yeah. Of course he has a favourite food. And sport. And sound. And colour. And his answers tell me things about him that, although they've always been true, I can now back up with a few stories and anecdotes.

With high-concept fiction—or any kind, for that matter—conversations about the mundane are usually the first to get cut. They don't further the plot, and they don't necessarily have anything to do with "yearning" or "conflict". But they can add an extra bit of richness that can turn a fun character into an endearing one.

(Neas loves "steak and taters!" by the way... but not from where you'd expect.)

So don't be afraid to ask your characters a few mundane questions (...even if they're too busy "juicin' bogeys" to give you a full answer), and go get that interdimensional interview. Go now!

Don't forget to check out the Blog Hop, and join in, too!

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