Friday, March 5, 2010

Living Characters

I've written on this subject before and I'm sure it won't be the last words I say about this topic, but ultimately I'm having trouble reigning in my character.

Meet "Girl X" The love interest of my MC for my current novel tentatively called "Watchers" aka "The Awakening."

(for the record, she doesn't look like this, but I liked the expression for image sake)

Girl X, was supposed to be someone completely different than she is now. She is supposed to be nigh untouchable. She is supposed to be pristine, glass-like in her fragility, equally submissive in attitude and ultimately come across as weak. What she really is, is irrelevant. The problem I'm having is, her personality is shaping out differently. Is it detrimental to the plot, not so much, but does it bother me that I can't seem to fit my character's complex into the character... YES.

I had a similar problem with a character in Trueborn. The MC and his brother were swapping personalities and making choices that I had intended for the other to make. It feels like I'm trying to write a story about living characters who don't want to be written different than they really are. It's like they are rebelling against my finger strokes and key clicks. It's like they are developing themselves.

What is your experience with character development before and during the novel writing process?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I got nuthin

I'm fresh out of blogging energy today, so I'll just leave you with this drawing of mine. I call it "the shifty eye anime guy."

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Advice For the Writer

If you have a finger or two, access to Internet and a little time, you can stumble onto myriads of tips, tricks and bits of advice on how to organize your novel writing. There's a ton of great sources out there, many of them right here in the blog-o-sphere, which can set you in the right direction to make sure you efficiently and enjoyably write the best novel you can without taking years to do it. (Some novels do in fact take years to develop, even with efficient writing tools and schedules, but that's another beast for another day)


One thing that most people know is that achieving success is relative. Completion of a chapter may be success to me, while completion of a novel may be success to you, yet another person may have written a few novels, but doesn't feel successful until they receive a dignified award of some kind from the literary community. Success IS relative and subjective, but, setting up reasonable goals and reaching those goals can give most of us a feeling of success, which in turn will fuel our desire to continue. So, here's a little suggestion to help you reach those moments of success.

Try breaking your novel down into "acts."

For example:

Let's say that you are attempting to write a fiction novel with an approximate word count of 80,000 words. Try breaking that up into four acts.

Act 1 - 20,000 words
Act 2 - 20,000 words
Act 3 - 20,000 words
Act 4 - 20,000 words

Give each act a specific purpose.

For example:

Act 1 - Lay foundation and conflict
Act 2 - Develop characters and intensify conflict
Act 3 - Bring conflict to a climax
Act 4 - End climax and close the story, or tie up loose ends

This is obviously very generic advice and in your own way, you can determine how many acts you need to fully tell your story and how much of a word count each act will be given... Breaking it up like this and labeling the need of the act will empower you to truly use the appropriate words you've allotted for that act to get done what needs getting done. This can help you eliminate unnecessary information, can help you prioritize how much time you'd like to spend on each act. Ultimately, the best part is that, as you complete an act, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and success. This should help fuel your desire to move forward and makes the whole novel seem less daunting. Rather than worrying about writing your 80,000 words, all you have to do is write your 20k word act at a time. Try it out. See if it helps you. I know it helps me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Glimpse of Snippet

I'd had a novel in mind that I wanted to begin working on later in life. I had filed away the idea with the notion that it would take a lot of research to make it work. Then, my creative writing instructor asked that we compile a short story of fiction. I decided that I'd take my novel, tentatively called "Snippet," and just turn it into a short story for the class assignment.

Here's the premise of the short story.

A budding young author finds himself being sued by a host of angry literary professors, due to a possible plagiarism & copy write infringement. His novel, called "Snippet," comes under fire as it becomes a best seller, yet none of the story itself was written by the author. Instead, the author decided to take sections of some of the best literary masterpieces in history and fit them together to create an altogether new story. These snippets, while unrelated, come together in a literary puzzle of sorts and create an epic tale which captures the hearts and minds of readers around the world. The problem arises when an Ivy League university professor questions the legal validity of the novel. Though the author cites each snippet, he may need to justify the overwhelming magnitude of his bibliography and the impact it had on his novel's success.