Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Characters and Brain Cells - Derksen

The mind fogs. Characters trip over dead branches in one story and hide behind the folds of a burka in another. Each has their antagonists, BFF’s, and ministry but most importantly, they have the Lord. My eyes dull. My mind races ahead of itself, trying to find out what’s happening to people who’ve become my friends. My characters teeter behind one brain cell after another in flight but also in pursuit.
I’m sure I’ve not adequately explained the mind of a writer, but I’m sure all of you understand that dualism we participate in. We walk around looking perfectly normal, smiling when we should, eating when we ought to, and sweeping the floor when it needs it. People raise their eyebrows when they discover we are writers, looking as if to say, “But you look so normal.”
When describing the premise for a new mystery series, I watched as the listener furrowed his brow and asked, “Where do you come up with this stuff?” Another person comments, “You’re sick.” There are times…but I love getting my characters into a pickle and then finding devious, heretofore un-thought of, ways to extricate their endangered body from the mess. I love discovering new devices, pieces of equipment, or anything that will aid their attempts. My body tingles in excited anticipation as readers ask ahead of time, “Do they survive?”
Writing has been an adventure from the beginning…whether I’m writing a devotional, a mystery, or a children’s book. Taking an idea, expanding on it and then watching it become what God intended in the first place, is an adventure that careens around corners fraught with typos, POV issues, and other editing giants. The polish for the story becomes the polish for my soul as I grow spiritually and as a writer, all at the same time.
During these beautiful days of autumn, as the weather remains so perfect long after it usually covers us in woolen sweaters and boots, it’s hard to remain disciplined…to keep at it. But then, the drama in my head draws me back. I compromise by opening the patio door near my desk. I let the day’s warmth penetrate while my character reaches to trust her Savior again in a new situation that seeks to destroy.

Barbara Ann Derksen lives near Winnipeg, Manitoba and will be reading her latest mystery on November 23rd at the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach, MB at 7 p.m. The next day, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., she’ll read two of her children’s stories at the same library. All are welcome. Visit her website at www.barbaraannderksen.com

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Hello Barbara Ann,
The goings on in the mind of a writer ... who can fathom, eh? Yet, the product of the process eventually reveals some of those mental workings to the perceptive reader. Thanks for reminding us that the writing experience can be very exciting and an adventurous journey, resulting in spiritual growth.

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