Carol Newberry, using excerpts from Sandy Tritt’s “Writer’s Workbook” conveyed to fellow members and guest of the Point Pleasant Writers Guild recently that when writing a story there must be characters involved or there would be no story. The main character, the protagonist, is the one with whom the reader should identify, or, at least, empathize. The antagonist is the character who works against the protagonist in achieving his goals.
Developing a character takes work. It helps to keep a written list of the characters, the name they go by, their physical description, and even components of their personalities. It is surprising how a “Bethany” in chapter one can become a “Stephanie” in chapter 15 if the author is not careful to keep track of her peoples’ identities. Sometimes, according to Newberry, characters take on a life of their own and the story writes itself.
In choosing a name for a character, it is best not to give a flowery name to an action character, save it for a romance novel. Also, do not have all characters’ names starting with the same letter or have the same number of syllables, such as “Bart, Bert, and Brad met Carol, Cheryl, and Charlene at the gym.” Newberry explained a story must have a conflict which the protagonist must overcome in order to grow, so that the story has a satisfactory ending in which the hero emerges triumphant and better off for having overcome his trial.
Newberry introduced her daughter, Joanna Hersman, to the guild members. Nellie Taylor read her poem entitled “A Romantic Trance” in honor of Valentine’s Day. Feryle Lawrence gave everyone a handmade Valentine which featured a pink, bedewed rose and a personal inscription. Marilyn Clarke read a first draft idea for a book of fiction about a futuristic society that engages in controversial matters, matters which are coming to light even in today’s society. Clarke is also working on her second cookbook, having just had one published recently. Patrecia Gray shared her poem, “Jesus, God’s Son, Took My Place.” Newberry discussed her work in progress which uses flashbacks to go from present to past and back to present in presenting her story.
Members spent some time in discussing various subjects and purchasing books written by Sue Underwood, “Roses in the Snow; Powerful Words of Faith,” Lawrence, “Amazing Stories of Faith and Inspiration,” and Clarke “Imposter.” As a writing assignment for their next meeting, members are to share origins and/or definitions of their names.
In addition to those already mentioned, meeting attendees included Joe Ingerick and April Pyles.
The Point Pleasant Writers Guild meets every first and third Wednesday of the month, 1-3 p.m. at the Mason County Library on Viand Street. All persons interested in the craft of writing are invited to attend.
Submitted by April Pyles.