Hello, everyone! I’m so excited to say that after a hiatus during which I changed internet providers, the new http://www.GeorgetteGraham.com is up! Please check there for new content, blog entries, and links to my youtube channel!
I don’t write about my personal writing life much on this blog, but I would like to do that more. So, here’s an update about what I’ve been doing lately.
In November, I completed nanowrimo and have what I hope will become a complete draft of my first short novel. Right now, I am in the process of re-reading it, and creating a new outline that will indicate the final plot, highlighting what plot holes need to be filled, what sub plots will be dropped and which ones will be brought to the forefront. It is my hope that this will lead to a complete draft that can be proofread, beta-read, and edited.
In the past couple of months, I’ve also generated some youtube content, which was so much fun and I hope to do more of. There’s a guided meditation for writers, and a dramatic reading of my creepypasta story “Parasites.” I’m still keeping up with my fiverr.com gigs, and a few of those have been featured on websites. I am also looking at some paid blogging gigs. This is all a little hard, because I do also work 40 hours a week at a job that I really do love and feel privileged to have, but that can be very draining at times.
Thank you all for your continued support, and best wishes to all of you.
Those of you on facebook already know, but there is now a video on youtube of me doing a dramatic reading of my short story “Parasites.”
<a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWR0NjlQFlM”>Georgette Graham reading “Parasites”</a>
In my previous article “Women Are Not Small Dogs” I presented a short list of tips that I hoped people might find useful in writing female characters. Thank you to everyone who read it. To follow up, I decided to write another article providing tips for non-fiction articles. I hope people find this article useful.
- Men Aren’t Everyone: Don’t use words like “People” and “Everyone” when you are referring specifically to men. This is one of those things that is so common you don’t even notice it. But, once you notice it, you realize that this is everywhere.
- Not Everyone Is a Man: Don’t use words like “Men” or “Guys” when you are speaking generally about everyone. Once again, you’d be shocked at how often this happens.
- Women Read, Too: When you write an article and address the reader as “You,” do not assume that the reader is male; especially when you are writing on a gender –neutral subject. Once again, you’d be surprised how many completely neutral writing, science, or computer articles will address the reader as “You” and then make statements that assume that “You” are male.
- Being a Man Is Morally Neutral: Avoid saying someone should “Man up” or “Be a man” when you think they should do something good, or saying that someone is “not a real man” when someone has done something bad. Being male and being female are both intrinsically neutral. Maleness is not a virtue, and equating masculinity with virtue makes no sense. What does being male have to do with virtue? Objectively, nothing.
- A Woman Is an Adult: Women are adults. Girls are children. Both men and women may refer to adults of either gender in the child form. This is obviously fine in an informal setting if everyone is comfortable with it. However, when writing professionally, it trivializes female contributions to the subject you’re writing about to refer to them as children.
Most of these things are so common and seem so normal that most people do them without even thinking. Writing this article, I myself had to edit it several times to keep from directing my article to male readers. I’ve seen women do these things, too. But, when everyone works together to take care of these smaller things, and we are no longer so used to them that we no longer see them, we can then begin to change the way we all see ourselves and each other and work towards true equality.
Few things stimulate creativity like speaking with a fellow writer. Recently, I had the privilege of spending time with a dear friend and fellow writer. She lives far from me, so even though we communicate regularly on the internet, it was a rare treat to get to see her in person. As you might imagine, a large portion of our time was spent talking about our writing. Throughout our short time together, I never stopped being amazed at how similar our processes were, and how we shared much of the same strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and insecurities. But, I will get back to that in a moment.
In addition to writing, we both dearly love the theater. We went and saw a play during her visit. The production was beautiful, and the cast was stellar. It was a production of a classic musical, that I’m sure most people have seen at one time or another. So, naturally the after-show-conversation turned to the actors and their interpretation of the respective characters, and other performers we had seen play the same characters. Subtle acting choices can completely change a scene. But, the conversation on actors and characters brought us back to one of our writing quirks.
We both “cast” our works of fiction. It is my understanding that this is not uncommon. Still, trading information on which actors “played” the characters in our imaginations made for very fun conversation. It’s also a very fun creative exercise. Beyond that, however, it made me think about the play, and how an actor’s interpretation of a line can change a character, and even a story.
The obvious reason for an author to have an imaginary cast for a work of fiction is to have a clear mental image of the character. That being said, I believe it is more than that. I know that I always have a mental image of my characters that frequently differs from the actor I use as my model. Perhaps it is to borrow a voice, a gesture, a quirk of an eyebrow or a wide smile from that person that I can give to my creation. To imagine who would read my dialogue and how can contribute an added breath of life that wasn’t there before. Whether this is a tool or a crutch, I couldn’t say. I like to think it’s the former. But, it is a habit that I am not likely to give up.
So, readers, I ask you; do you do have a “cast” for your works of fiction? I know that I have some favorites that I have used more than once. Do you? Who do you like to “play” your characters and why? I’m interested in hearing more on this subject. I look forward to your comments.
Read More at http://www.georgettegraham.com
To my American readers, have a wonderful 4th of July! And, to people who protect and serve their country all over the world, thank you.
May we all enjoy peace, freedom, and togetherness. Best wishes to all.
And please, excuse the reminder that you can read more of my blog at http://www.georgettegraham.com.
You can follow me on twitter at @wordsofggraham, and you can also like me on facebook on the link provided on this page.
I hope to have more content here soon. Best wishes to all, and have a wonderful day!