October 7th, 2003

bear by san

Dear masters of my fate:

I am hearby swearing off all drama. Mine, and that of others--friends, acquaintences, family.

I have books to write, and drama is far too time consuming. Also, dull.

I also hereby swear never again to eat anything I don't really actually like, unless it's a matter of starvation or politeness. Life is too short.
  • Current Music
    Roxette - Sleeping Single / Timbuk 3 - Facts about cats
bear by san

Characters

Words: Stratford Man 2238, and on the YA think somewhere around 2750, though it's hard to keep track.
Reason for stopping: Will has Kit in tears. I think it's time to let everybody go to bed and start over fresh in the morning.

***

I have no idea how so many writers who write historical fiction manage to come back with these savagely two-dimensional characters. If a rounded character is built on the contradictions--scratch the surface of any real person and you'll find them.

I'm noticing this in particular because my guys are so determined to come to life on me. Take Will Shakespeare. Here you have this guy whose friends called him "gentle Will," who was noted for going home early when the boys were going out drinking, who quite possibly was in ill health most of his life--who wrote some of the most fabulously passionate poetry the English language has ever seen--who was noted for outwitting Ben Jonson and George Chapman in philosophical arguments, who cheated on his taxes and his wife and who seems to have been a bit of a prankster....

He just springs to life as this person, this human being , with these flaws and chinks and blind spots--And we know almost nothing about him.

How can you take a person who is much, much better documented than that and turn him flat?

***
Some say that ever ’gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.

--William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, scene i
  • Current Music
    Leonard Cohen - You Have Loved Enough