Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The wisdom of tea

This morning I noticed some helpful advice on a box of peppermint tea: "Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something." It's from Life's Little Instruction Book.

This is a good thing to remember about characters. I was up till 1:30 a.m. making notes about 2 of my characters, 1 of the sisters and her significant other. I've come to a point in my writing when I need to know much more about him to know how things progress. I know a lot of people write bios for all their characters before they dive into the story, but somehow that doesn't work for me. I have to do things kind of simultaneously. I had a brief sketch about him, but he's become more pivotal in the story so I need to know more.

I reread parts of Brothers and Sisters by Bebe Moore Campbell over the weekend. A wonderful book about race, gender and class, and a great primer on character motivation. Even her bad guys have insecurities that are sympathetic. It reminded me to think about all my characters' secrets and fears.

All this work and all I needed was to read a box of tea.

8 comments:

Bernice L. McFadden said...

I love Nina Simone..u know she had a long time affair with the then prime minister of Barbados! Thanks for always dropping by and I look forward to reading your novel.

Joy!

Carleen Brice said...

I did know that! She was one of a kind. Joy to you too!

Shauna Roberts said...

how to create well-rounded characters in 15 words--who'd have thunk it? Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

Therese said...

Terrific instruction as I'm closing in on the end of my WIP. It makes for a kind of checklist for revision in addition to a character-development primer.

Carleen Brice said...

Shauna, Yep, good old Celestial Seasonings.

Therese, Congrats on almost being done with your next book!!!!

Sherry said...

Tea...so comforting and so wise...I love this quote you found...little wonder it give you insight. We find our inspiration in some of the most amazing places.

Rebecca Burgess said...

I love it when insights come from unexpected places.

Sustenance Scout said...

Brothers and Sisters, another one for the TBR list! K.