Friday Follies
Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Friday Follies

So here it is, Friday again. Since I often have a busy day on Friday, and sometimes don't have a lot of Clown_child_parade_266345_l time for a blog post, last week I asked for ideas about a short, useful feature to begin on Fridays.  I got lots of great suggestions, because, well, I have the best readers on the planet, and many of them centered around the idea of asking a question.

I have taken this idea and run with it.  However, me being me I am not content with one question when more would do.  I'm a novelist, not so much a short story writer (all my short stories end up long) and this pretty much sums up everything.  My motto in life is, more is better, and for living proof, come knock on my front door.

And so I am starting a series, in which we see how far we can go with the letter F and questions related thereof.  Some posts will be stand-alone, and some will be part of a mini-series.  When I run out of F-words (don't go there)that I like I will start with a different letter.  Or come up with a new plan.

Just to whet your whistle, next week I'm starting a series called Festive Fridays, because Fridays are festive and fun and that is one thing I love about them.  But until then, you need a question or two to ponder over the weekend, and I have one for you, but first I want to explain something.

When thinking about the questions I pose and answering them, bear in mind they can be used three ways:

1. Answer them for yourself.  Hopefully, they will be cause for some introspection and interesting journal entries.

2.  Answer them for a character.  This can be a great way to deepen your understanding of a character, fictional or otherwise.

3.  Answer them for the alien who lives next door.  Kidding!  Try answering them for both yourself and a character you are working on.  This is the approach that John DuFresne recommends in his new book on writing a novel called, Is Life Like This?  It is something I've always done and find very effective because getting to know yourself better helps you to understand others better.

Okay, without further ado, here are today's questions, keyed to the word folly, which in case you need a refresher means, according to, a foolish, action, practice, or idea.  (It also once meant a revue with glamorous female performers but that is not common usage any more so we'll ignore it.)

So, where's the folly in you or your character's life?  What foolish action or idea are you hanging onto that it is time to let go of?  What foolish practice are you indulging in?  What would your life look like without all this foolishness in it?

0 thoughts on “Friday Follies

  1. DYoung

    The folly I face in writing my current story is the ending. For some reason I have it in my mind that this needs to be a concrete, solid, happy ending. Being my first (serious) work, I worry that this is going to be the downfall of the entire thing. If I do this now, I fear it’s closing too many doors, both within the story and my writing as a whole. Am I on track with the answer?

    Oh, and I love this…”because getting to know yourself better helps you to understand others better.” you stated in #3 above. Oh how true this is…

  2. Charlotte Dixon

    D’Young, I just found the complete manuscript of a novel I wrote in the late 90s, which I’d forgotten about. I read the ending–wow, it was bleak. I immediately thought that if I rewrite the novel, I’ll make the ending cheerier. But I’ve rethought that. Because the ending needs to be the ending that the story requires. Period. So I don’t think that you need to worry about whether the ending is happy or sad–just if it is the right ending.

    And yes, that was a great answer!

  3. Jessica

    Funny you brought this up on Friday. It took me the whole weekend to answer. 😉

    My folly is believing I can make *everyone* happy. Even thought I’m coming to the very painful realisation that I can’t (and no one can), I still seem to cling to the belief.

    I wonder how many of my characters suffer from the same folly. I’ve discovered lately that the more you learn about yourself, the more you learn about your writing. Sometimes you learn something new about yourself, only to find it was there in your writing all along.

  4. Charlotte Dixon

    Jessica, I think a lot of characters–and real people suffer from this malady. Um, anyone I know? YES! I believe strongly that writers are the coolest people in the world because they know more about the world and the people in it than anyone. Because we have to in order to write about it.

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