On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Characters’ Physicality

Most people are used to their bodies having a full range of motion. If a character doesn’t, this could definitely shade the story, especially emotionally. What happens when a vibrant person has an accident – child or adult? Can they resume health? If they do, won’t they remember the horror of the traumatic experience that stole their health, the pain, the therapy?

When one of my cats developed diabetes, I had to put her in the hospital over the time of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference (coming up soon – September), and though I visited her every day, she was miserable. We learned to deal with 2ce daily shots, with insulin shock….I will never forget how, when she felt better, she tottered outside to lift her face and feel the air, the damp sprinkle of rain.

And when I started writing, either my hero or heroine had scars (unpublished books). One heroine had been thrown during a riding accident and her leg hadn’t healed. One hero had lost an eye and a little finger and had leg damage after the battle for Ciudad Rodrigo. I thought then, and I think now, that these characters came to me that way because it was obvious that they’d experienced pain, experienced life, and might have an additional depth that others didn’t.

So consider your characters health today, their mobility. I have a friend who I saw walking before me on the street a while back, and he held his body so stiffly that I was amazed. I didn’t think of him as impaired in any way, but something was definitely going on with his health.

May you add depth to your characters today,


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