the author's prism
The author brings to each book a preconceived vision of the overall message behind a project. Is it to inform? To educate? To open readers eyes to a way of thought?
In my case I wanted to read about women who were self-motivated and had a strong sense of knowing their strengths, weaknesses and had a direction to where they wished to go. They didn’t look to outside influences because they understood that they would be responsible for their own actions. These are the traits I instill in my female characters featured in my novels. Then, when they confront an obstacle, they have the inner resources to regroup and move forward.
With my background in business, I met and worked with many successful women, some who were the first in their field or company. I witnessed a commonality of traits among them that have not only guided me in my career, but in developing characters for my novels. Traits of self-awareness, hard work, not giving up, among others.
Reviewing fictional genres and character building traits.
Romance -- a character can be passive or passionate, manipulative or supportive. Each choice is the prism though which the author builds the personality and actions of a character. When the woman loses sight of who she is, she then becomes influenced by outside forces that in a novel will lead her astray. Usually the resolution is due to the character finding her own inner strengths with which to resolve the crisis.
Sci-Fi – while the author is building characters to populate the envisioned world, they will have human traits. Good versus evil. Clever versus studious. Selfish versus beneficent. It is the author’s view-point used to draw each character with a set of values that will flesh out an identity, that even set in another universe, will be relatable today.
Thriller – Not only will the author build a setting, but usually via research or a point-of-view, create the tension of the tale be it murder, espionage or intrigue. When they begin writing the book, they are positioned to look at each element through a prism that is predominantly ecological, political, economic or personal. And in those choices the author creates a work uniquely their own.
In real life, I challenge you to sit with pen and paper – I know so old school – and define your individual prism for the choices you make in your life. Maybe you will find your unique voice and vision with which to write your own book.