It's April! Not only is this the month of my birth *hooray me!*, it's also the month when droves of insane bloggers attempt to post an alphabet themed post every single day of the week minus Sunday. It's called the A-Z Blog Challenge, and frankly it's nuts.
However, being a little off-tilt myself, I've decided to take this challenge and spank it on its hind-parts. All other regular blog features may take a backseat over the next few weeks, but I promise to keep it fun and informative. Here's my plan to keep us entertained throughout this process:
Like all craftspeople, writers need to keep a bag of tricks handy. A set of tools for the job at hand (writing), if you will. Some of these traits or tools are obvious--like the need to have a hide as thick as a brick, for instance. Some are not. I'm going to use this challenge to examine some of those necessary tools, and hopefully find something for each letter of the alphabet in the process. Hold on to your #2 pencil, here we go!
|Click Here To Read More A-Z|
We all know of the dubious link between alcohol and writers. Some of the most revered scribes of all time liked to partake of the Devil's Cool-Aid before (and during) the jotting down of their most important thoughts. From Hemingway to Stephen King and Capote to Dorothy Parker--liquor has had a vexing role in many an author's creative process.
Here's a list of the 15 most notable drunken scribblers.
This isn't to glorify substance abuse in any way. Stephen King is on record as saying his alcoholism did more harm for his writing than good, and many an author has met an early end to their brilliance due to over-indulgence. (Jack Kerouac died of alcoholism related illness at the age of 47.)
In fact, the real tool that writers need isn't the alcohol at all. It's the psychological symptoms of alcoholism.
Perhaps the single most valuable tool in a writer's toolbox is the ability to create dynamic characters. Characters with problems, mood swings and emotional baggage are the lifeblood of a good story. Furthermore, it's the unexpected that make characters really come to life. Like brothers who don't act like brothers, or a good guy who doesn't always think or do the right thing. Unfortunately, great characters are easier to read about than they are to create. Creating a hero who isn't always good, or a villain who isn't always insidious takes a lot of work.
Here's where alcohol can help. The following are a few of the psychological symptoms of alcoholism:
- Loss of control
- Sleep problems
- The collapse of the alibi system
- An increase in failed promises and resolutions to one's self and to others
- Loss of interests
- Unreasonable resentments
- Loss of willpower
- Cloudy thinking
- Poor concentration
Vanilla Character Twist
1 - Normal Character
1/2 Tbs - Motivation
2 tsp - Description
1 Shot - Any of the above alcoholism related symptoms
Mix all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, strain and pour. Garnish with fruit and zest of plot. Enjoy!
Come back tomorrow to see what you can do with the letter B!