YOU KNOW YOU’RE AN AUTHOR: WHEN YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CHARACTERS

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why-you-should-read-and-re-read-these-high-school-books-as-an-adult

Why do writers fall in love (or become infatuated) with one or more of his/her fictional characters? It’s an easy trap for a writer to fall into since the writer must fully understand his/her characters to write a story of substance. A writer literally goes inside the head of his/her characters to explore what makes them tick, what they feel, think, and so on and so forth. In my situation, one of my characters has taken on a near “human” form. Case in point:

Shane Davison is not only the lead character, but he’s also the narrator and voice of CLIPPED WINGS. He can be a real twat, but I’ve got a deep inner connection with him. He’s part me, and part Holden Caulfield, part Scout Finch, and many other teenage characters from well read and loved coming-of-age novels.

Shane is a cocky (oops, I can’t use that word, it’s copyrighted — that’s another story altogether: see here) teenager who lounges on my sofa as I write. He knows he’s the central figure of the fictional novel I’m writing, so he has no fear of NOT being featured in any (all) scene(s). But, he gets testy when I cut scenes or chapters in the editing process. He doesn’t throw a hissy fit or anything along those lines, instead, he pouts and won’t speak to me.

Okay, I admit; I enjoy the silence when he’s pissed-off, it beats those endless wild tangents he so enjoys to torture me. When I ask him to be quiet, his feathers get ruffled and he won’t talk even when I need his input or opinion. I hate when he goes into one of his teenage mood swings. Whatever possessed me write a coming-of-age novel of a spoiled, self-centered, egotistical teenage boy? Why couldn’t I’ve drafted a charming little story filled with lollipops, unicorns, and rainbows? I hate to say it, but I wrote about a subject I knew.

CLIPPED WINGS is a personal story, one that has been with me for nearly five decades. A story I knew needed to be told, but I didn’t have the guts to pursue. I suppose I wasn’t willing to put my feelings, my fears, and most of all, I didn’t want to expose myself in such a public manner. I suppose a vulnerability can empower or destruct, depending on how one approaches a situation.

Through Shane’s character, I found a voice to tell my story, an autobiographical/memoir sprinkled generously with huge chunks of fiction. By creating Shane, I distanced myself from a past which had haunted me for a long time. In the narrative, Shane becomes the vulnerable one, not me. He takes the heat, not me. He takes the fall, not me. Okay, possibly I’m hiding behind Shane, but I’m finally exposing an injustice which should never have happened, but it did.

I can’t, with a clear conscience say I’m in love with the character of Shane but I do admire the way he tells his (our) story. We share an unspoken bond with a tale inspired by actual events. Maybe Shane didn’t exist in the actual series of events which unfold in the novel, but as a team, he and I tell one hell of a story.

Currently CLIPPED WINGS the novel is being edited and is predicted to be released in mid-to-late 2019.

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#DaleThele  #Author  #Novelist  #Writer  #Fiction

Word Count Matters

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Math-ProblemOOPSIE!

My word count estimate for the first rough draft of CLIPPED WINGS may have been way off.

I’m not a PLOTTER (a writer who plans out a storyline in detail).

I’m not an OUTLINER (a writer who creates a story outline before beginning to write).

I’m a PANTSER (I don’t plan out anything; I fly by the seat of my pants). I write the opening chapter and the closing chapter, then let the story develop organically between the beginning (point A) and the ending (point B).

Characters (even though they are fictional) have a way of driving the direction of a story as it develops through their actions, feelings, stubbornness, and drama. Every manuscript I’ve written has been character driven, CLIPPED WINGS is no different.

I am currently writing chapter 18. I realize now, my word count estimate was not adequate to fully tell the story. Yes, the manuscript is shaping up to be “epic” in length (between 150,000 – 200,000 words), but don’t worry, CLIPPED WINGS is not characteristically “epic” in any other way.

(I should have paid more attention in Algebra Class)

Additional information can be found at CLIPPED WINGS

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist #LGBT

REALITY vs. FICTION – BLURRED LINES

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It’s suggested authors and writers are to write about things they know. Some compose memoirs, an account of events from their authentic life, and others create an artificial world out of their imagination. Even an imagined world has elements from an authentic life, no matter how small. So where do authors draw the line of distinction between reality and fiction? The answer would depend if the author is writing fiction or a memoir. A fictional work could take place in a real-world location, however, the characters, if based on real living individuals, the author would change the characteristics of the real-life individuals, so the reader can not identify the characters to the real-life people they are writing about. Authors can be sued for libel, defamation, and/or slander. To get around this obstacle authors use a little trick; a colloquial term, a euphemism to denote distortion of fact called: artistic license, where elements of reality and fiction become blurred in a way which masks the true elements of reality.

I had to decide if I would write my new manuscript as a memoir, or as a work of fiction? The premise of both manuscripts would center on a specific set of circumstances from real-world events. So, could I tell the story better as a memoir or as fiction? If I wrote a memoir, there would be key parts of the real-world story which would not be included in the manuscript, due to possible legal ramifications. However, if I composed a fictional manuscript, retaining key components of the story as possible. Real-world facts within fictional elements (artistic license) would be retained without worry of reprisal or possible legal repercussion. I decided to write a story based on actual real-world events in the form of a fictional novel, tentatively entitled: CLIPPED WINGS.

A tale of a zealous authoritarian high school administrator exploits his position to break Shane Davison’s teen spirit, unaware of the Pandora’s box he has unintentionally opened. The administrator’s unrestrained actions set into motion a chain of events which no one expected, in this early 1970’s narrative, told from Shane’s teenage perspective. Shane takes the reader into his confidence to reveal a nightmare of biased victimization in a small, ultra-conservative, north Oklahoma town. A true, honest-to-goodness southern literary fictional novel, inspired by actual events being written by Dale Thele.

So, how blurred are the lines between reality vs. fiction in CLIPPED WINGS? The manuscript is a current work in progress, but I can assure you, the storyline blurs repeatedly into murky gray areas of artistic license.

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist #LGBT