Friday, November 23, 2007

The Wit & Wisdom of a Wonderful Character

By Keith Fisher

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you remembered to give thanks to God for all his tender mercies. Myself, I got some writing and editing done. For which, I am truly grateful.

Have you noticed, when writing a book, an opinionated author must try to keep his/her opinions to themselves? If not, the author could be guilty of the cardinal sin of losing point of view and we all know what can happen if we do that.

But have you also noticed, if we put those opinions in the mouth of a sympathetic character, it can be said, and sometimes accepted? This can, however, be a two-edge sword that could hurt us on the back swing. But, you say, it was the character that said it not the author right?

I realized the implications when I read something that Dumbledore said in book two of Harry Potter and I wanted to write it down. Do I give Albus Dumbledore credit or do I give credit to JK Rowling? The character isn’t real, right? Or is he?

Without getting into the whole Stranger than Fiction mania, Keep in mind that in the end, it was JK Rowling who said it. Therefore, if what was said was something embarrasing . . . ah, there’s the rub as Hamlet said in his/Shakespeare’s soliloquy.

What was the quote? Dumbledore/Rowling said, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Also, I discovered a section of self-dialog that I wanted to show you. In the book, Seven Days for Ruby by the Yorgason Brothers Ruby is worried about her friend. She prays for him and makes a discovery,
"Dear God in heaven," she prayed in desperation, "I’ve got troubles, real troubles, and I don’t know where to turn. Johnny is innocent, I feel he is, I know he . . .
"Lord, is Johnny innocent?"

I absolutely love this passage. Not only does it show the way we sometimes go about our lives but it’s well written. Now there are flaws in the story, of course there are. None of us are perfect and neither is what we write, but we can try, submitting our best work and maybe someday one of our characters will be quoted, but be careful. Keep a muzzle on your character’s opinions. Like children, they could have a tendency to embarrass.

Good luck with your writing, keep trying—believe you can be published—you can touch lives.

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