Friday, June 18, 2010

Interesting vs ... Interesting?

Hi, there! Liz Johnson here!

A new girl started at work this week. She's a little younger than me. Kind of new to the professional world. And in my position, I work with her mom. So I've tried to make a point to reach out to her. She's brand new to the city, and I thought she might want a friend, as I sure know what it's like to start over in a new city.

So the other day, I invited her to lunch. I said I'd like to hear about how she ended up here. She said, "I'm not that interesting. I hear you wrote a book."

"Yes," I said. "I did write a book, but that doesn't make me any more interesting than anyone else."

She laughed it off. And like the writer I am, I analyzed it to death. I tried to look at it from every angle, but for the sake of this blog, I came up with one question: Are interesting people by nature interesting, or are they interesting because they do interesting things? Am I interesting because I've written a few books ... or would I be interesting even if I'd never written a word?

I personally like to think that the interesting person comes before the book. I have a hard time imagining any writer as not interesting. Introverted? Perhaps. Boring? Never!

And, of course, I wondered how this applies to characters in my books.

That is to say, is it more important what happens to a character or how the character reacts to what happens? I suppose that literature enthusiasts would say that the difference is what editors call character-driven vs. plot-driven. I think it's a debate that will rage on ... But I suppose the real question is: what kind of story do you prefer?


SketchGirl said...

I think what makes life interesting is how the colours of people's personalities appear due to unexpected situations, moments of intense fellowship, fun moments, random moments and just the general daily routine. Or those of us who are bored and want to amuse say things to see how a person reacts! So life is never boring its just how you view life :)

Liz Ann said...

That's a really great point about instigators. :) I do that to my characters all the time. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Liz,

There's much more to me than merely a woman who sits at her computer and pounds out stories. In fact, the writer is a small portion of who I really am.

Sorry the gal failed to see the depth of your personality. She generalized. You're a writer, someone she wasn't interested in knowing. Perhaps she fears she'll pale in comparison.

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Juanita Wickey said...

Looking forward to reading this one. So many stories, so many ideas, one can never run out of a story to tell. Juanita