The Weird Stuff Writers Get Into
Writers are weird people. Yeah, that categorizes me too, but that’s okay. Why? Because we enjoy what we do. And that includes some of the things we research about.
When writing The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Caralynne grows up in a cult so I needed to study about cults. Since I was creating a cult and not using one I’d read/studied/or knew of, I had to give them some specific actions and/or traits that set them apart as an identity. I decided tattoos would fit, but I didn’t want to give the members the liberty of choosing for themselves what kind. I wanted the tattoo to be all the same for everyone and for a reason.
So began my search for the right tattoo. The internet became my primary go-to source although there was a tattoo parlor in my nearby community for use too.
Now before I go any farther, I might add here: I know some who are definitely against tattoos and some who think they are a piece of art. I’m not condemning or approving in getting one. I’ve seen some really ugly ones that I must confess, I wonder where the owner’s brain was when they obtained it. Some really are beautiful: perhaps a small heart or butterfly (check out David Stearman’s book: Hummingbird), a bird or small name.
The things that mattered to me in giving the members of The Children of Righteous Cain a tattoo consisted of:
I needed the size to fit for both men and women
I didn’t want anything too big and ugly
I needed it to be a little scary, but not too much, for the little girl in the first chapter.
It had to be the right size to fit on the choice of places I wanted it to be: outside upper arm for the men and inside wrist for the women
And I had to be satisfied it was the right one.
I brainstormed with critique partners, I searched, talked it over with my husband and went round and round until I was weary with the subject. I considered:
Creating one which would give me the leverage I wanted to match the story with the tattoo
Having a tattoo-ist create one which I might end up liking or not after I paid or at the least asked the artist to volunteer to create.
In the end I created one in my mind. It was an eye, and the main reason was because of the third item in the above “mattering” series: Scary but not too much so for the little girl.
It was a key factor for the eye-tattoo to play upon the little girl’s emotions. And it worked. Briefly mentioned here and there throughout the story, I still believe the effect it had on the story played emphasized the uniqueness of the cult.
Sometimes writers create settings and characters and events that play powerful roles within a novel. All the little things--like tattoos for The Children of Righteous Cain--build up the reality of your creation and gives your settings and characters and events a little bit more punch than it would have.
Research is vital for excellent writers. I recommend it highly! J
And so will your readers.
I’ll give away a print copy of my book to the person Rose and I choose who comments about either:
A tattoo you have
The funniest, most beautiful, ugliest, or weirdest tattoo you’ve ever seen
Or why you do or do not have a tattoo.
Carole Brown’s debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, was a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest. Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled across the country. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
I’d love to connect with readers at:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
I also participate on:
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net
Geezers Gals and Guys: http://geezerguysandgals.blogspot.com/Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/