Beloved Readers Who Write,
Although a reminder of my superb credentials and exquisite sensibilities is becoming increasingly superfluous, it is possible that a tiny minority of the denizens of cyberspace may, as yet be unacquainted with the masterful intellect that is Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV the renowned author of both the speculative fiction classic ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooth’ and of this ‘The Thinking Quill’ which offers insight into the mysteries of the authorial craft. Ecco, mes estudas, here one is. Prepared to pedagogueise…
How to Start Writing a Book – Lesson 6A. Refining the Write Character
For today’s little tutorial, one’s fickle Muse leads one further along the bridleways of characterisation and the building of those sprites which shall infuse your works with life and loveliness. Follow in one’s footsteps, mes enfants, and you will surely find that the strength of one’s pedagogical peregrinations shields your tender little souls from the hurricanes of blandness, excessive ‘realism’, cold bare prose, and that all-devouring vampiric creature whose name is critic.
Ergo, mes enfants, when you have your protagonistic personifications placed in your psyche allow them to speak within the pristine pergola of your mind. Listen as they tell you of their lives and loves and leisure pursuits. Speak with them aloud as their insubstantial forms draw flesh from conversation with their creator. Fear not the idle sneers of ignoramuses, listen not to well-meant advice wherein those less sensitive to etheric beings counsel against speech with those entities none else can see or hear.
Be brave and enter into such dialogues as the children of your encephalon will vouchsafe to you. Dispute with them, should that be their will. Declaim aloud your fractious floccinaucinihilipilification. Shout to the skies when Erato and Calliope send unto you an actor of such ferocious intractability as to madden the very core of your sensitivities. Sing lullabies to soothe the merciless breast of your insubstantial interlocutor. Eat only that which their nourishment requires, abstain from tobacco, strong drink, and hallucinogenic substances so that your soul can be pure and your psyche open to the voices from beyond.
In the ultimate analysis, when you have a protagonist who walks by your side directing your steps you have succeeded beyond mere measure, and you can allow yourself to be led by the hand into the labyrinthine lusciosity of lustful lubriciousness that is literature lubricated by genius.
Ah yes, mes estudas, when your careful construction takes breath into its own lungs your work is done. Cry tears of joy as you inscribe into insubstantial cyberspace the passages of pusillanimous prose your protagonists dictate to you.
When their clamour will not let you sleep, you will know you have achieved the ultimate in character creation!
I shall conclude with advice on antagonists. They are the bad people, everyone knows what a bad person is like, we all have neighbours, work colleagues or relatives we despise. So there is no need to explain them or their motives in more than the briefest of detail. Less is more.