Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GORLS is GIRLS by Rita Stella Galieh

Grafitti seen on a wall. "I like gorls." Someone saw it, crossed it out and wrote, "I like girls". Another came along and wrote, "What about gorls? They want to be liked too."
I guess we've all felt like the odd one out at times. And after writing several novels, I've discovered that my heroes and heroines often feel this way. Maybe that works well in a story by adding some inner conflict and perhaps some argumentative dialogue.
Authors study their protagonists as they need to know how they'll react in given situations. Writers who plan ahead with a plot structure laid out know this before they write. Others, known as "seat-of-the-pantsers" -of whom I am one- tend to discover how their main characters react while they're writing. Yes, characters can take on a will of their own and the novelist soon finds he or she is not true to the way their leading lady/man would perform. And they buck or sulk, depending on who they are. I can't tell you how many times I've had to revise and rewrite until my characters cooperate! I truly like this, though, as it adds some spice when they don't do the obvious. After all, you want to be surprised when you're reading, otherwise the story would be humdrum.
I'd really like to write about an eccentric who does and says nothing you'd expect, but can you imagine trying to explain that in a book proposal to a skeptical publisher? Maybe Dickens wrote his share of strange folk, but I wonder how it would go down today? Anyone read anything lately about an odd character as a main protagonist? Ooh yes, mythic, heroic, strong, virile...yet odd. Hmm, that's food for thought.


  1. I don't know if this Old Spice advertisement is playing around the world but the creators have very clerverly taken a man with "every" heroic quality -- he's good looking, splendid physique, he builds kitchens, bakes cakes, dives into a hot tub and ends up straddling a motorcycle. Here's a case where taking predictabilty to the extreme actually creates a quirky and funny character.

  2. Gee Alice, I'd love to see that one! Sounds a bit like snake oil. Cures whatever. But oh, I reckon the publishers would say "just too good to be true."

  3. Mmm...been reading a fantasy book called Many Coloured Realm by Anne Hamilton. I don't normally read fantasy but this sure has some "strange" characters! Oh, I am a mixture of a plotter and a "pantser!"
    Good post, Rita! Sure shows the frustrations we can have at times in this crazy career.

  4. Hi Rita,

    I received your free book yesterday and am enthralled already!