If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron
So Why do you write?
To make people think
Your story will fit the needs of a certain group but often writers don’t think about why they write – they just do it because they love it- Think about it… Just for one moment.
I write for all of the above. With GT I wanted to entertain people as well as highlight a huge issue that happens in developing countries. I also wanted to make people think- what if they were in the shoes of the protagonist- would they do the same thing?
Maybe Goa Traffic was not to inspire – well I hope it inspires people to pick up a pen and write but it is not a story about inspiration.
With TBV the story is largely to entertain – it is after all a psychological thriller and it will highlight some issues surrounding siblings and interpersonal relationships between friends and lovers. – Most of us can identify with falling for you friends mate or fighting with your sister. Sisters and brothers can sometimes be worlds apart. I like my readers to identify with little traits of my characters. If they identify with them they will believe more in the story and really feel the plight of the protagonist.
With GT several people asked me if I based the character on them – to me it was a bit of a compliment- there was some sort of recognition.
Anyway after my last blog, here is a short back story of one of my characters from TBV – so if this happened to Leanne- how would this reflect on her personality now that she is in her mid twenties?
The Last Glass of Squash – Leanne’s Tale
She was only ten when it happened. It was late. Her bedside clock told her in bright red that it was three in the morning. Did she need to go or didn’t she? She should never have had that glass of squash just before bed. She didn’t even want it but the last inch of syrup in the bottle called out to her.
“Don’t touch that squash, its mine” Suki had said as she answered the telephone. She held the plastic burger up to her ear and smiled.
Leanne saw her chance then. Why should she be the one to get the last of everything? Just because Suki was the eldest she thought she could do whatever she pleased. It was time that Leanne made a stand after all her father had told her that it was time for her to fight her own battles the last time she had complained about her big sister’s behaviour.
Leanne made her drink and defiantly walked past her sister trying to provoke a reaction. Her mother rolled her eyes. Leanne smirked. There was not much Suki could do whilst she was on the telephone.
“ur, hmm” Leanne made like she was clearing her throat as she walked past her sister but there was no reaction. She looked at Suki – a lone tear rolled down her cheek. Who was she talking to? Disheartened by her failed attempt to get one up on her sister she had finished the squash. But now in the middle of the night it was coming back to haunt her.
Of course you need the toilet. Leanne heard her subconscious say. You wouldn’t be awake if you didn’t. Leanne counted down the hours till it was time to get up; four. Too long; she would have to leave the warmth of her bed.
She walked to the bathroom and stood outside. The light was on. Leanne looked around ; her parents and Suki’s doors were firmly shut. She waited in the silent hallway until she was desperate. Then she knocked. Nothing. She tried a whisper, “Hello. Can you hurry up I really need to go.” There was no response. Yes. Maybe someone had just left the light on. Leanne opened the door just a little and waited. Still silence.
Finally she pushed the door open. It was then that she saw her. The bath was filled with a deep crimson her sisters white skin breaking through the surface. Leanne stood next to the bath. Her mouth was open but she was unable to make a sound as a warm liquid tickled down her leg and onto the bathmat
Okay so its not brilliant writing – I did it in ten minutes and its just a first draft it needs working on- but it is a bit of back story – it gives you the central motivation of the character. I think it does. But as I start to write these short back stories I learn more about my characters and to me that is a huge bonus.