24 October 2012

Wednesday in Progress: My Complications to My MC

I've been reading Roz Morris' Nail Your Novel, well her book actually. Trying to get things in my own novel sorted out from her examples. One thing I noticed right away is that I don't nearly have enough plot/subplots to float the entire story arc. I have the main one covered and a few minor ones, but I'm now noticing how hollow it is - there's just not enough meat.

In fact, her post on Sunday was exactly about this topic. She brings up the insanely wonderful website TV Tropes and you best be careful because you can lose days just going from link to link! It's dangerous time-suckage if you don't stay focused on why you're there in the first place. Visitor beware!

So now I've managed to take out some extraneous stuff regarding my main character, Gillian, and decided that she really needed a bully. In fact, it was the realisation/creation of the bully that helped further clarify what she looks like/how she dresses. I guess I'm taking the scenic route, but I'm learning that my characters can't possibly be boring. Real life is boring enough. If I want my reader invested, I really have to pull them into the world I have in my head.

There are other things I'm quickly learning about my characters and I'm trying not to overwhelm my novel with too many characters. However, that's what I say this week. Next week I could totally figure out that I have too few characters and need to make a few more. The joys of creating. Good times.

Still optimistic about this story, despite finding more problems with the story in general. I think the reason for my optimism is that I'm also finding solutions instead of just feeling like I'm drowning in quicksand. I can see a way out of this, even if it's not entirely clear. I have hope. I just have to complicate things for my characters a bit more so there's a fuller story. I may care for these fictional people because I have all this in my head, so I know them better - but if I don't share that with the rest of you, why would you?

Your turn! After writing your drafts, did you realise that your characters didn't suffer enough? Have you read stories where you just didn't care about those people in it? Have you done a Joss*? Do you aim to do a Joss?

*The reference is to Joss Whedon - brilliant writer/director who is notorious for killing off his characters in the most horrific ways and when you think all is safe, he ruins it by killing off more. He's an evil bastard and I wish my brain worked like his. I'm hoping "do/doing/done a Joss" will become A Thing.

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