Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
Everyone is welcome here.
(Some links or topics may not be completely kid-appropriate.)




Mon, Oct 12 2015

Past Tense

A few days ago I saw a self-captioned photo online of someone I knew perhaps three decades ago. The person was still reminiscing about old times. I was surprised until I realized that this had been an old habit they had even when I knew them and had possibly repeated itself many times over the years. The old days were where everything happened for this person, where all the action took place. Their present was someplace they had been thrust into the way a six of clubs is dealt from a deck of cards, thrown onto the table of life through no choice of their own. Their talk of future was full of hopeful dreams, but the dreams were rarely based on reality from their past choices or present circumstances. Their self-trajectory for the future seemed based on something that might happen to them instead of on something they might help make happen.

Real people have a history when we meet them, but if they spend most of their time steeping in their history, it's hard to build a relationship with them in the present or make plans with them for the future. So I thought of the way writers handle our fictional characters. When we tell a character's story, we create a back story for them in our minds, so that we know them well, but we usually write more about their present and we hint at their future. We might sprinkle in bits of the back story, but we use it like a fine spice to enhance the reader's experience. (There are exceptions, of course, such as characters who are time-travelers or who remember nothing except their past because of a medical issue.) But a writer simply can't afford the luxury of leaving all characters in the past. We have to present a story that makes readers want to turn a page or move to the next scene to see what happens next.

posted at: 07:10 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry



Quote Of The Moment
A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks the Lord would do if He had all the facts in the case.
--Finley Peter Dunne
Categories
Arts and Entertainment
Food
Health and Fitness
Miscellaneous
Playing
Politics
Religious and Spiritual
Science
Writing Life
Some of the Blogs I Like
Adrian's Science Fiction Starter
Angelahoy.com
angelweave
annecentral
Big Stupid Tommy
Blog Catalog
Christina Waters
Detectives Beyond Borders
Faith in Fiction
The Fire Ant Gazette
Jay Michael Rivera
Keystone Military News
Orange Crate Art
PI Buzz
Rabid Librarian's Ravings in the Wind
San Diego Soliloquies
TED Blog
Blog Resources and Blog Tools
The Ageless Project
Blogarama
BlogPulse
BlogShares
BlogSweet
Listed in LS Blogs
Kmax
The Blog Herald
Listed on Blogwise
Ping-o-Matic!
Some of my other web pages
Deb's Monthly Review
Stories
Deb's Writer Cam

Writer Links
Writers' Resources
Hatch's Plot Bank
Instant Muse Story Starter
The Memes List
General Store
Stetson Hats
Levi Strauss & Co.
Jaxonbilt Hat Co.
River Junction Trade Co.
Head 'N Home
Archives
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
Hang Hat Here
Write Lightning button       RSS         email Deb

Follow me on Twitter


Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!