Monday’s Friend: Kristin Battestella
Today I am pleased to have horror author Kristin Battestella as my guest blogger. Welcome to Imaginary Friends, Kristin!
Inside the Toy Box – How to use Everyday Things to Inspire Character Personality and Depth!
by Kristin Battestella
Writing is youth. It isn’t outside the box. Stop thinking about all that advice that says break the rules, twist the genre, create something no one has ever created before! Get rid of all those ultimatums in your head and actually do it. Open that Toy Box!
Writing in many ways is play-acting. You are creating an imaginative world. Even if you describe a real world setting that you know intimately, one must put a spin on the senses, invoke feelings, and let strangers reading your books know what it is like to be here or there ten, fifty, one hundred years from now. How can you do that if you simply sit at your desk, K-cups, internet and all? Even when writing a completely serious decidedly non-childlike manuscript, you should behave in a child like manner during the initial writing composition. Return to your youthful memories, sense of wonder, and life altering experiences to make your paper world come to life.
Does your character hate au gratin potatoes and fish sticks because you yourself had horrible experiences with gross cheese clumps and limp, pasty fish? Write it down! Never think anything you write is too dumb. So long as it says something important about the character’s mind and personality or motivations in your text, any quirk or mannerism that creates a fully developed person and reader embodiment is a good thing!
And speaking of embodiment, how can you expect readers to inhabit your work if you don’t do so yourself? I’m not saying you have to kill someone for your horror or sleep with many people for your erotica, but finding ways to experience the times, places, thoughts, and feelings of your characters and manuscript environment should be paramount. How do you know if your character hates corsets unless you try one on yourself? Maybe she-or he!- actually finds them quite comfortable because you went to a fancy lingerie store and got fitted yourself. And hey, check out those adult shops to spice up that erotica or use Weird NJ as your roadmap to creepy or notorious places. What do you do with all these new found experiences of yours? Write them down!
It’s all fine and dandy to write with a quill on antique paper as your players may have done. Don’t scoff. Just ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ Try wearing a wig in your character’s style to the grocery store and see what happens. Do your neighbors already think you’re a whirlwind of fun? Or will you surprise someone, maybe even yourself?
Use the physical freedoms and whimsy already about you to free your mind and imagination. After a seemingly drastic character embodiment experiment, it becomes easier to find your story sources in everyday things. Can you fit in your kitchen in a hoop skirt? Would your glamorous blonde ever do the laundry? Open yourself to creative foreplay and experiences for a magical writing experience!
Cover art by: Masloski Carmen
Editor: David Watson
Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre?
Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society. Plus more!
Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.
Kristin Battestella writes for her hometown newspaper The Cumberland County Reminder and has been writing non-fiction, speculative fiction, dark fantasy, paranormal, and horror for almost twenty years. Along with numerous sports articles, print essays, online reviews, and pen name fiction, Kristin’s first eBook was published in 2005. She is a member of the New Jersey Authors Network, Horror Addicts.net, the Friends of the Mount Laurel Library, and has attended the Philadelphia and Collingswood Book Festivals and the Muse Online Writers Conference. Kristin’s first full-length work The Vampire Family has been re-released with Eternal Press; and her 7 book sequel series Fate and Fangs is available now with Muse It Up Publishing. Kristin appears in the Horror Addicts Guide to Life Anthology in 2015 and discusses film criticism from her I Think, Therefore I Review blog on RadioVisionNetwork.com’s What to Watch.