Hiddey-ho Scribblers! J Monkeys here. I’m running a little late this morning – hopefully you haven’t all already visited today and I’ve missed you. Why have I been writing my posts when I get up on Saturday morning instead of scheduling them in advance like I’ve done for the past nearly two years? There’s been a change in my circumstances and I haven’t fully adjusted yet. In addition to being a full-time mom and a part-time writer, I’m now someone’s part-time employee, too! It’s awesome and I’m wicked excited about it – but I haven’t figured out how to balance my responsibilities with the hours in a day yet. It’s a constant struggle for me.
So I’ve had one change in my circumstances and I’m anticipating another. Earlier this week, I had one of my nearly 5-year old sons tested for Celiac. I’m still waiting for the results, but it could mean a major change in circumstances, not just for me, but for all the “characters” living in my house.
Celiac, for those unfamiliar with the…desease, disorder, issue?…means that you can’t eat gluten – no wheat at all. In his case, it will go hand-in-hand with a milk allergy. Here’s a link to more information if you are interested. Now, not only is there a TON of information about celiac available out there, and there’s an aisle full of gluten-free products in my grocery store, but my son’s godfather has the same issue but very severely and can be a wonderful resource for me having lived with it for 40+ years. So either way, we’ll be good.
But this got me thinking about how we writers need to change the circumstances on our characters. Pull the rug out from under them, turn life on their head, leave them topsy-turvy. I enjoy change – I always have. I love to play “What if” games in my head. What if we get snowed in and I’m stuck at the mall, all alone? What if everyone in my neighborhood drops dead from a superflu and society as we know it collapses overnight? (Don’t worry, my family is usually uninfected with the flu in this head-game.) What if I won the $365 million lottery? What if I decided to plant a garden this year?
As writers, we have to change our characters lives and then help them work through the results of that change. But lots of people hate change or fear it. Often that’s the same thing. Maybe that’s why people like to read – to see how the other half live. To experience a (usually dramatic) change in circumstances in the safety of our own home. I know that’s why I like it. Did I just say I liked to read? Ha-hmmmm. I mean that’s why I love to read.
Today’s not-so-secret Secret: Changes in circumstances can come from anywhere and involve anything. If you run out of ideas, or realize that you haven’t changed your characters circumstances enough, look to your own life for inspiration.
Today’s Question: What’s your favorite type of change-in-circumstance story? I love historical romances and more modern day, they’ve-kept-these-secrets-from-us-for-millenia-but-now-it’s-all-coming-to-light-and-boy-are-we-in-trouble type stories.
Today’s bonus secret: click to here to see what changes are in store for our beloved Eric Northman – they’ve begun filming True Blood season 6! Yippeeee.