I don't want to write a book that's just about plot. I want my characters to stand out, for people to remember them. I've read a lot this year and I can tell you that the books that have really stood out to me are those that made me cry a little. I have this fantasy now that I can make my readers burst into tears, and by far the best way to do that is through character development. I've spent the past 4 months working on this, but folks, I've gotten stuck!! I fixed Nikki's mother - she's not quite so much the helicopter mom now. I gave Kay some perky new lines and I deleted one character that didn't stand out at all. And yes, I even gave the wicked witch of the Gin some empathy. But now comes the biggie. The sis. Shani. Shani is dead and that makes her character far more challenging than the rest. All of her lines come from imagined conversations between her and Nikki, and some of those don't necessarily showcase Shani's true thoughts or feelings. They're in Nikki's voice, in her head, and given that Nikki's harboring a bit of guilt over her sister's death, she's not going to be entirely reliable. But getting back to this whole "I want to make the reader" cry bit, it's this relationship between Nikki and Shani where I really need to hit my reader in the gut. I need to incorporate sweet remembrances with beautiful writing so when Nikki finally starts to deal with her grief, the reader will feel it. And this friends, is where I'm stuck. I try to imagine these scenes, I try to think of words exchanged with my own siblings to make this relationship come to life, but I'm just not there yet. I can't see it.
Now I'm not saying that what I have so far is bad. It isn't. I just don't think it's tear-worthy and that's the goal I'm striving for. So I've been thinking to myself, maybe if I do some character profiles and flip through some really great photography, then inspiration will hit me. So the character profiles will be forth coming in the next week, but this is a quick flip through some photographs I found.
I love the girls reading together here.
My older sister used to read to me ALL the time.
This one just feels fun to me.
Anything with the beach is noteworthy.
This is just too cute.
I love the offbeat feeling to this. I'm not sure about the girl in the background,
but I could totally see Nikki knocking around with a guitar.
Secrets! Secrets! Secrets!
I feel like a prince is about to ride through that
forest any minute now. Sam? Where are you??
I can totally see Nikki and Shani doing this, especially
with the stocking caps. Minnesota = Brrr...
This feels straight out of the book with the lake and all.
I LOVE this one. I have a feeling it's illegal to put it up here
(see that little name at the bottom??), or even that it might be from a movie???
But yeah, I can totally see the sisters talking it out in the bathtub.
This one freaked me out when I first saw it.
The girl on the right looks like a ghost, which is sooo perfect for the story.
I just keep looking at it, trying to figure out how the photographer did that. Photoshop?
Anyway, it's gorgeous.
Anyway, it's gorgeous.
That's all for now. Have a good weekend!!