Getting Sassy with Writing: let the characters speak
I just completed my second Sassy Yoga Challenge and I thought about how that creative process can help in the process of writing a novel. In order to with stand the journey of writing a novel you have to jump down the rabbit hole again and again. This is not an activity for the faint of heart but for a Sassy Creative Being who is up for the challenge. Committing to the process of writing a novel requires that we get sassy enough to carve out aspects of our live for our novel to take form; carve out time. and space with a quiet environment. We also need to allow our book to take form in a way that surprises us. We need to develop a curious open mind about how our characters speak and behave without judgment from us.
We all know that we should write the first draft with editing or second guessing our characters. This also may be true for the second draft. If a character speaks out of turn but you like what that character said then figure out how to use the dialogue. We need to throw what does not work away regardless of how well written it is, but sometimes we can keep what we feel would actually work in on different page or chapter. There are no perfect moments for our characters to speak. There are not perfect times to introduce characters or situations. Getting sassy means intuitively writing and them rewriting at the end of each draft.
In Sassy Yoga we discover different transitions to enter and exit postures. When I wrote my first novel, Between the Cracks, I was challenged daily to let the main character speak her truth (find it on amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Carmela-Cattuti/e/B00ELTN59Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1) . The main character, Angela, propelled the story forward with her sensibility and language. She had to have free range of expression. Characters can get sassy by their reaction to a situation they encounter. For example, Angela is struck by her husband and stands up to him even though she was an orphan and had no support.
In my second novel I am finding it even more difficult to allow my characters speak and move the way they want. As writers it is our responsibility not to force words into our characters' mouths but to remain detached as our characters grow and express themselves. We want sassy characters that are not censored by the writer. The reader will spot this kind of control and stop reading or not buy our next book. Letting go when we write encourages the sass in our work to shine. To write (or create) anything fresh we need to be bold and fearless in our writing and let our characters become as sassy and as authentic as they were meant to be.
Carmela Cattuti is a writer, painter, and yoga instructor. She has integrated all three disciplines into one brand. Visit her web site at www.ccattuticreative.com. Her new novel, The Ascent, will be out in late spring.