Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bruce Writer.

So writing is going well and by going well I mean I feel like that is all I have done for the past few weeks. I write in the morning, when I get free time and all through the night. I feel like I see a computer screen more than real people—probably because I do. Why do I put myself through this? Because I love it, I couldn't live without it, it is so a part of me that if someone tried to take it away I would not function so well.

So since we have established that I am addicted, I have been thinking about the intricacies of writing lately. Writing is not hard. I can sit here and write for hours with only my butt causing me to stop...maybe sore fingertips....but it is not hard. Good writing is hard. Great writing is even more elusive. Still, what makes quality writing hard? 

One of the things is perspective of character. If you are writing about someone you have to put yourself in that person's shoes, think like they would think, even if they are nothing like you. For me character drives my writing more than anything else. So obviously making all of the characters like me would get boring for me and the reader very quickly.

So yeah...that is hard. How do we become so many different types of people? Research, sure, our surroundings, of course, but maybe most important, having a flexible mind. So now I can get to why Bruce Lee is once again all over my post. There is a series of famous lines Bruce once said in an interview. He was speaking of Martial Arts at the time, but being the amazing philosopher he was it is easily applied to other parts of our lives. Not the least of which is how we go about writing.

He said: "Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend." 

With this way of thinking there is no you anymore when you write, only this character. You can write someone who is the complete opposite of you, who does things you would never dream of doing, because you are not judging. You are forming yourself to them. This results in real feeling characters who come alive on the page.

If you would like to hear the quote or see how awesome of a person Mr. Lee actually was watch this video below. Some say he was all hype...I beg to differ. 


  1. That is a really good quote. Someone else posted a list of his quotes last year.
    I am definitely not my characters.

  2. Be water my friend... love it!
    This is an awesome post. I think its really good advice on character development, research you say? I'm an obsessive researcher... lol but I do enjoy living in my character's shoes and understanding why they would act a certain way. The more different they are from me the more I love them.

    Cool vid :D

  3. ALways loved Bruce Lee (the man) as much as his films. I was a fan from the Kato days onward.

  4. Awesome video. Nunchuk pingpong might be the coolest thing ever... whether it's real or not.
    Bruce is the man. I've considered buying one of his books

  5. Great job, Brandon. It's important to "get into your characters heads," so you can make them believable. And in order to succeed, writing must be your passion, as it obviously is for you. Best wishes.

  6. This is an awesome post, and I love that video.