This poem depicts one of Quinn’s darkest moments in the book (the one I’m writing). It’s from a scene where she writes a letter to the people she’s leaving behind.
I’d let you in on my little secret but then that would spoil it for you. Perhaps another poem is the answer to your question what happens next? Let’s see if Quinn can be rescued from her tragic state of mind…
The character in my book and writer’s block inspired this post- who would have thought that writer’s block would motivate me to write? I thought that a poem would be a perfect way to describe Quinn (the character) and the world she’s living in. I also thought it might prompt me to write more for the chapter. If you’re having a hard time trying to create a scene for your character or you’re finding it difficult to set the tone, try to imagine Morgan Freeman or any other person with a moving voice reading it. That should help you write with a particular style. It works for me. Or write a poem. Tonight, I wrote a poem.
The sporadic rhyming scheme reflects the erratic and contradicting nature of the character. She battles with the one she loves because he is the one she hates. She is also at war with herself and the world around her. She often portrays an image opposite of who she really is, not because she chooses to but because she has to. This life did not choose her. She chose it and with choosing comes a price. Her only way out is to be stolen.
Question for you:
How do you cure your writer’s block?
See no evil; hear no evil; speak no evil. I doubt any of us have ever been able to apply this to our lives especially with the world we live in today. Somebody once said that our perceptions have been created in conjunction with how the world helps us shape them, but I doubt this is even the case anymore too. If anyone’s ever told you this, they’re fooling you- why? Well because it isn’t enough that what we see around us creates our perceptions, rather who is in control of creating our perceptions. Perhaps our story-tellers, writers and authors hold some of this power? In fact, we do. Manipulating evil into good and good into evil is in the palm of our hands.
The greatest part about writing a book is creating characters, good and evil. They’re the heart and soul of the story and indefinitely become a part of the reader’s world. Characters are the ones we adore, the ones we hate, the ones we wish we knew in real life and even the ones we wish we could be. But what does it really mean to be good and what does it really mean to be evil? Don’t we all have a little bit of both in all of us? We find comfort in the stories we read to escape from the real world and even from ourselves. I believe it’s because we would rather read about it than face our own evils.
So, this concept of good and evil -where did it come from? I’ll give you a hint. Some of it came from the two people who brought you into this world- your parents. Since we’ve been kids our mamas and our papas took whatever step needed to teach us to be good and not to be bad. I knew that my mother’s waving finger was a sign of disappointment. It was a clue that I should end whatever mischievous scheming I had going on in that little head of mine. It’s not like I listened anyway. If I had allowed her to cut off the only source to my storytelling (my imagination) then I would have been without imaginary friends and without stories for my real ones.
So I tell stories. Good ones? It’s hard to say but I know there is a fair share of good characters and evil characters. What would a story be without its villain and without its hero? Very boring, you say? I think I’d have to agree. They’re interesting stories that deliver a teeny weenie problem in the real world (sorry, I have to go here). In the midst of all the Muahaha’s [insert villain here] and some down with the bad guy! [insert superhero here], lies a bedridden assumption that there is only evil or only good. It’s been read a story, tucked in, sung a lullaby and guess what? – It’s never moving out either. Nobody ever took into account that maybe the Green Goblin had daddy issues or that Mr. Freeze was just never loved enough or that Two-Face had some serious self-esteem issues. Okay, okay all joking aside, the problem is that the dichotomy between good and evil has been constructed for us. It hasn’t only been constructed through words but through images. I guess us writers can take some of the load off. Some of the most powerful forms of representing good and evil (dark figures, manipulated, scary voices) aren’t only in the superhero comic books we read, they can be found in the television shows we watch. Although they teach moral lessons we need to look beyond that.
I thought I’d add that this cultural narrative isn’t only found in books but also in video games. Video games are just another element that give us the opportunity to see that being good has evolved into being violent. How you ask? Well let me ask you if this sounds familiar at all: “Get the bad guy!” or how about “That’s the bad guy, kill him.” Perhaps you’ve heard this in video games you’ve played. Would you like to play a video game that allows you to engage in the ambush and assassination of Osama Bin Laden? Yes, that’s right, video game companies are handing over the honor of killing the enemy to worldwide gamers. Now you can live out the fantasy of the war hero through missions and war simulations. War stories have evolved into a virtual narrative that is demonstrating propaganda at its finest. Video game companies are playing tag and guess what? You’re it! They WANT to give you the power to engage in political and military affairs without actually getting involved. This has definitely changed how we tell stories. Talk about involving the reader huh? They’re involving you through the video games’ luring and propagandistic qualities. Those who are featured as spectacles of violence have become so readily available to us, that we have them at our fingertips and can destroy them ourselves for the greater good. Video games have allowed the average person to join in the fight against the enemy desensitizing the public from the horrors of a real war. Smart huh?
I could go on and on, but this post is already getting long and it’s getting close to my bedtime. That being said, I’ll end with this: the power to create evil and to create good resonates in the characters we create in the stories we write. It’s also in the virtual narratives designed by video game creators. I suppose when I’m racing to the pearly gates I’ll have a great explanation for how good and evil have been constructed. I think I’ll be prepared for when the big guy up there gives me a tough time. After all, we’ve all got an angel and a devil on our shoulder and most of them have a special place in the stories we read.
Halloween is just around the corner and what better time to dress provocatively- kidding. This year I’ve decided to scrap the high-heeled boots, fishnets and any garment of clothing that serves only one purpose- to reveal as much skin as possible (kidding again). The film Mean Girls said it best: “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Although I may have been this type of girl on Halloween once upon a time, this year I’ve opted for more of a dad friendly costume. So this year there will be no Sexy Ghost, Sexy Witch, Sexy Pilot, Sexy Sailor, or Sexy Bat Girl- notice how a woman’s costume isn’t a costume unless it’s got ‘sexy’ in front of it? This year I’m going to be none other than Robert Munsch’s Paper Bag Princess. No this costume isn’t sexy, although when I searched how to make my costume I found some pretty sexed up Paper Bag Princesses. Come on now. Must we do this to even the most admirable characters we read about in books? I’m pretty sure that’s not the look Robert Munsch was going for. The original Paper Bag Princess is dirty, disheveled, and is wearing A PAPER BAG. It wasn’t a paper bag designed by some of the world’s top designers. Yeah, and it wasn’t a Gucci paper bag either. It was a simple paper bag kind of like the one you carry your lunch in, but a teenie weenie bit bigger.
The Paper Bag Princess is one of my favorite stories written by one of my favorite childhood authors. What better time to bring the characters you love to life than through the spirit of Halloween? Unlike most stories where the prince rescues his princess, this princess has got pizazz and wit and uses it to rescue her prince from a dragon, despite the danger involved in doing so. She’s virtuous, smart, imperfect and moral. Most of all she’s a hero. After she rescues the prince he’s unappreciative and judges her based on her appearance. Prince in shining armor? Not so much- more like the prince in rusty armor. What does she do next? She dumps him. Atta girl. She’s the kind of gal I like to read about in stories because she’s not like the others. She’s not the traditional damsel in distress waiting for her prince’s arrival. She’s not down with the “woe is me” or up in a freakin’ tower or missing a slipper. Now if only I had a prince to rescue, if only. Ah well, maybe one day or maybe on Halloween tehehe.