June 29, 2009

Pay Attention to ALL Your Characters

I just deleted over 2,000 words. Why would I do this when I’m having trouble getting enough words as it is? Because I messed up. Big time.

You see, when I get started writing, I just go with it. I get in the head of my POV character and I fly. It usually works out. I know the general direction the story needs to take and I have a (albeit vague) idea of what I want to accomplish in each scene (in my defense, I go back and make the scene tighter). My muse likes freedom and when I give it to her, I’m usually rewarded with some neat twists that I hadn't been expecting.

But there are some minuses. Aside from the aforementioned wandering that I sometimes catch myself doing, I don't frequently get in the heads of my other characters. I figure out each character at the beginning--discover their motives, needs, personality--but rarely do I stop and think, "How wil so-in-so react to this?"

And today it cost me 2,000 words and about 2 hours of writing and planning. Maybe more. Chapter 12 has been demolished and I’m having to start from ground zero. All because I didn’t use my villain to his full potential. He was being way too nice, only attacking when convenient and never really threatening anyone, just trying to be scary.

Now, he has an army waiting outside my heroine's home, ready to attack her mom as soon as she steps over the protective threshold of her home. And she won’t even see it coming.

For a brief synopsis, see my earlier post: My Current Project

No comments:

.i2Style{ font:bold 24px Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif; font-style:normal; color:#ffffff; background:#67b310; border:0px none #ffffff; text-shadow:0px -1px 1px #222222; box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -moz-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; -webkit-box-shadow:2px 2px 5px #000000; border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -moz-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; -webkit-border-radius:90px 10px 90px 10px; width:96px; padding:20px 43px; cursor:pointer; margin:0 auto; } .i2Style:active{ cursor:pointer; position:relative; top:2px; }