Confession Time: Why The Videos...
Those of you who watched the video on my last entry: http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/2012/09/another-entry-about-creating-characters.html will already know what I'm about to say. I have a chronic pain condition. I can still see the doctor who diagnosed me with it 12 years ago as he gave me a sad smile and said, "The good news is that it won't kill you. But you'll be in pain the rest of your life." The condition is known as Fibromyalgia and based on my own research over the years and from speaking with experts, I've had this since childhood. I've always suffered pain more readily and easier than my peers back in grade school. No one ever believed me when I told them how much I hurt especially after one of the numerous bully assaults because of my apparent weakness and vulnerability. I was never good at sports even when I tried my damnedest to get good. My muscles never responded correctly. I was clumsy and awkward and on rare days when I was feeling 'good' I was able to excel in ways no one could believe. But then a day or so later I'd be back to my usual lower performing standards no matter how HARD I tried to push myself. I was tired a lot as well, which comes with being in pain.
Now let me point out that the pain levels I normally experience are the kind of low (somethings off but it's not going to get in my way) kind of thing. They can take their toll but I've found exercise routines that really work for me without exacerbating the pain. I've taken a lot of dance and have learned a lot of core and endurance building exercises that have helped a lot. But even these are no match for when the Fibromyalgia comes out of its remission stage and goes into "FLARE".
During "Flare" the pain levels shoot up and my motor skills become clumsy and awkward. I feel terribly drained and even have to resort to using a walking stick to get around (even inside my home). Even putting my thoughts together can be difficult, as if I were trapped in a fog which is why this particular symptom is referred to as FIBROFOG. Overall, it's like having a terrible case of the flu with the deep body aches and fatigue, without the high temp or other symptoms.
Now, what does all this have to do with the videos? Simple. I have limited energy reserves during these periods. And what little I feel up to doing is getting through my college classes and my daily life period. I budget my reserves and try to focus on writing my novels as best I can (the Fibrofog can mess me up on that front something fierce and I can't really write some days even though I want to). During periods like the one I'm going through now, it's easier to sit and talk rather than type. And since I don't want to neglect all of you who've been so kind and generous with your comments and views, I've been resorting to the videos.
So, now you know what's really been going on. I hope you all understand and I hope this particular 'Flare' will soon pass. Until it does please bear with me. I will still be posting in one form or the other.
In the meantime I'm going to take advantage of my being a writer to bring up another subject. In my earlier entries I talked about giving your characters skills, hobbies, talents you have or someone you know has to help make them more real to your readers. The same still holds true with bad stuff. Losing a loved one, a bad childhood, an unhappy relationship, or having a health condition.
Now I've already started using my personal knowledge of dealing with Fibromyalgia with one of the characters in my novels. Her name is Cassandra Elliott, a billionaire heiress with a heart of gold. With looks, beauty and money, she would seem to have it all. But Epstein-Barr plagues her, depriving her of love of dance and other activities by making her bed-ridden for days or weeks at a time. She hates the feeling of helplessness and being an invalid at times. But how she deals with her condition helps shape the person she's become and her drive to be as normal as possible especially around her new love interest.
We're all shaped by our experiences. Good or bad, how we react to them helps make us the people we are. So look into your own life sometimes for sources of material to help shape and make your characters into real people. People your readers can relate to and want to keep reading about and cheer on.
Thanks for reading, sorry this post is so long, but I felt it necessary to address some of the concerns I've been reading in the comment sections or in private messages. Take care everyone and I hope to have another entry up shortly. Keep writing.