New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Connections

Some of this also appeared in Smart Girls Read Romance but because I thought the topic was important, especially now, I took part of it here. Today, a lot of us are questioning our connections, as the world seems to shift out from under us. Where do we belong? Who are our friends? What is our purpose? I don't think those questions are bad to ask ourselves now and again as situations change.

From the time we are born, connections (or the lack of them) establish much of how we see life. It begins with family and expands into friends, community, school, workplace, and even government. Our connections can determine how we see ourselves and what our goals become. I believe if our connections change with life, it can change our view of ourselves.
 
Writing a book leads to looking for those connections for the characters. When I start writing, I have a personality profile, but it’s only as the story comes together that I begin to see the full picture of who these people are. If they are true vagabonds, with no connections, that’s part of their story, but do they then get planted somewhere-- or become involved with someone who is.

Because I have lived many years in a rural community, I have seen the power of that kind of community in negative and positive connections. I live on a place that is still called by the names of the previous owners though we’ve lived here now almost 40 years. The past stays connected to the present.

This week one of the neighbors, who works with Ranch Boss off and on, was talking about the home in which he lives and asking more exactly how its history had also involved my ancestors-- the ones who first came to this area at an uncertain point in time. It had me trying to find the connection. I could only go by the family stories as to get more specific would require paying for time at a genealogy site that I don't have the time to put into it-- at the moment. 

Writing on my work in progress, a paranormal that is set in a real place with descendants of my historicals, it has been interesting to see more connections appear—ones that hadn’t made it to those profiles. The fact that I know new details does not mean they will all appear in the book. I read critical reviews of someone else’s book, where readers felt too many characters had cluttered up the story. If a character has been a hero elsewhere, fans of a series do like to see them appear to see how they are doing, but it can be brief. The key is understanding that these connections deepen the personality traits of the protagonists and are reasons for readers to care about them, to want it to work out.

One thing I did this year was create timelines that not only gave the births of my characters (major and secondary) but also what was happening at that time to impact their lives. If you have read the book Generations (sadly not on Kindle) you saw how the authors showed the connections of one generation to another in United States history. Seven patterns that are then repeated.

For writers of historicals, another valuable book (also only in paperback) is The Timetables of History. For a writer, it helps to know what else was going on, which books were popular, who was governing. It helps me get a handle on those who were not living in my own time.

Awhile back, I created timelines for each of my historical series where I mixed in bigger events at the time my characters were being born and growing to adulthood.


I also created a booklist because I wanted in one place all of the books and their connections to each other. https://raintrueax.blogspot.com/2017/02/book-list.html

Lambing season is all about connections, 
and these lambs must find their place in the flock.

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