Jan 16, 2014


"Write every day" is the advice we keep hearing from famous authors.

"Make sure you write at the same hour every day" is a mantra we find in "how to write a novel" manuals. 

Write. Write. Write. Force yourself to sit down at your desk, avoid the social media, ignore your hurt family and neglected pets. 

Sometimes we are enthusiastic about the project we are working on. Other times our minds are blank canvas ready to get inspired, but The Muse is nowhere to be found (I like to imagine her sipping Martinis in Sicily).
So how to entertain ourselves during those long hours of loneliness?

A good fun technique is the SPIN OFF. 
Imagine your favorite book, movie, play or fairy tale. We know what happened to the hero in the end, but what about the secondary characters?

Have they moved? Do they have families? If they were the hero, what would happen to them?

Some authors are more inclined to write character driven stories, others prefer plot driven adventures. The former will focus on the development of one or more of the characters of the original book/movie/play. The latter will fantasize about the events that occurred in the future of the story and how those facts affected the characters. 

I recently read the classic Jane Eyre by the English novelist Charlotte Brontë
I was fearing a hard read, full of uninteresting details; I'm not a big fan of descriptions. 
Surprisingly, I found myself loving the book. I then watched the recently released movie and loved that too (just not quite as much as the book, as usual). 

I got impressed by the character of Helen, Jane's first friend at the charity school where Jane gets shipped by her evil relatives. Helen dies of consumption in Jane's arms (this happens quite early in the story, do not worry, I'm not spoiling the end for you!) 
During her short appearance, Helen shows a fiery character, rebel red hair, and a quite complex attitude towards religion and its rules. 

What would have happened if she had survived that unforgiving winter? If given the choice of living and growing up, what type of woman would she have become?
Would she have followed Jane in her adventures? Become her lover? Turned into a sophisticated smart feminist?

Whatever your choice, make sure you don't pick some uneventful life with a lousy ending. Remember: your hero should always be riding on a roller coaster!

Have a good novel!