How was your weekend? No papers, so I’ll have to mine a previously acquired puzzle for Triple F this week (not to get ahead of ourselves).
My weekend was great–celebrated Thanksgiving, and the second anniversary of this blog.
Today is the first day of the last month of 2015, December 1st.
I wanted to talk about culture a little bit today. And how that can shape fiction and emails (bonuses ahead for you fiction writers).
I’m an American. Not everybody is an American. For instance, Australians (a few of whom follow this blog) don’t celebrate Thanksgiving the way Americans do. (Whether that means they don’t stuff themselves with turkey and gravy, or eat pumpkin pie, I don’t know–I’ve never been to Australia, or asked anyone who has how things are).
Canadians have a Thanksgiving, but it’s on the American Columbus Day.
There are just some things that happen in some cultures (like saying “for dinkum”) that don’t happen in others. I have to say (I know I have before):
I think Australians are some of the bravest people on the planet.
There it is. Well, why?
Australian started out as a place where the British shipped criminals. Don’t know why–out of sight out of mind, I guess. The British government must have thought the place was a bit rough to be in, but I don’t know.
The world’s deadliest spider (the Sydney funnel web) and 4 or 5 (or more) of the 10 deadliest snakes in the entire world all live in Australia.
And I forgot to mention Crocodile Dundee…
Now, is it dangerous in Australia, day to day? I don’t know. Probably not more than average. It’s not like they have snakes jumping from storm drains into peoples’ laps.
Okay, well, what does this Australian history have to do with writing fiction and email?
Just like my world and culture is mine, it’s the same with characters and prospects.
They live their lives–normal, everyday lives. Question is:
What’s that mean?
In fiction, you’re making that “life” up…
What if the morning commute involves jumping down the gullet of a sea monster to get to an undersea lab? Why would/could that be necessary? If your main character is a scientist, that’s “normal.”
Or it’s mandatory that a portfolio have 3 different types of investments? What if a sector is on the decline? What will investors do? And how could they be punished?
For prospects, their daily lives have a routine (most of the time), and problems.
Problems you could help solve, depending on what you’re doing at the time…
Some prospects have money and no free time. Or free time and not a lot of money. How would/could you fix that–or at least get them on the road to seeing the problem and fixing it?
Some prospects are moms with morning sickness or a bratty three-year-old. Or maybe both. Depends on the prospect.
So, figuring out how, why, and where your characters or prospects spend their time will go a long way to help you figure out what they want, why they want it, what problems they’re dealing with, or what-have-ya.
Which will go a long way to making sure you don’t get stuck (or can more easily get unstuck) in your writing, whether fiction or emails.
Until next time,