Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vivid Characters Never Go Out of Style

I was reading a magazine article yesterday in which the author cited as a source. And I thought, "How times have changed."

A few years ago did not exist. More recently, although it existed and was easily accessed, would have been considered an unreliable source. We writing teachers still encourage writing students to go to the print sources; the original sources. "Use a real dictionary," I've heard myself say. But very quickly, I suspect, will become the real dictionary.

Other things in writing stay much the same. Like the appeal of intriguing characters. While reading II Chronicles the other day, I was intrigued by the meeting of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. She came to visit him, tested him with difficult questions and was amazed with his wisdom. Wouldn't you have liked to overhear that dialogue? Sometimes the Bible just doesn't include enough detail :-).

I'm so intrigued by the Queen of Sheba. I'm going to check out the library and see if I can find some historical fiction written about her.

Of course, I've read everything about her on Wikipedia. Do you think Wikipedia is a reliable source for information about this intriguing, powerful woman?

Also, I'm trying to identify the aspects of her character that make her intriguing. If I can figure it out, I think it will help me as I try to create characters that live in reader's minds. Vivid characters are one aspect of good writing that will never go out of style.