Thursday, 31 October 2013

End of October Wordcount


Prologue, seven chapters and a snippet. 
Three+ months since starting.

I feel like I should have gotten further this month. I'm a little disappointed. For some reason I really struggled to find the drive to just sit down and write (which is also why I didn't do much/any blogging this month). I've picked up again quite a bit in the last week or two, which is why I think I'm disappointed: because it felt like I've gotten a lot done of late. But oh well. I'll just have to work harder in November. Lots to do! 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


I've taken to carrying my first few chapters around to read through and edit away from home. I'm finding it much easier than trying to work on the computer and it means when I do get home I can just get on with writing. 

I was getting worried that, actually, maybe everything I'd written was awful. But it's not too bad actually.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Main Character Troubles...

The difficulty with a main character is to not make them perfect. It's so easy to make a character who sees every clue the author leaves, reacts correctly to every dilemma, never says the wrong thing. Making your lead real means making them human, which means giving them flaws. Ok, so you have a pretty, good looking female lead. Now give her big feet. Make her chew her nails. Give her acne, split ends, tiny breasts and a flat bottom. Then again, who wants to write about someone ugly and mean? Who wants to read that? Fiction is about escapism after all. So maybe a few allowances can be made. But let's try not to get carried away, shall we?

The other temptation, especially when writing about a character whose the same gender as you, is to make them you. Oh, she loves the colour purple. She has curly hair. She drinks black coffee and loves books and the smell of cut grass and hates lavender and bad grammar... Oh, whoops. No, let me rethink... She hates coffee. Drinks water all the time. Likes to exercise. Her hair is straight, her eyes are dark. She likes cleaning toilets and being really cold all the time! Whoops. Suddenly you've made your own anti-self. Some strange, polar opposite of yourself who's as contrived as the one who was exactly like you.

With Thea, my lead, I've tried to give her a little bit of myself. It would be impossible not to put something of yourself into a character after all. But writing yourself is boring to read and obnoxious to write. Instead, I find things we have in common.  She hates the smell of coffee, but she loves the way a book feels in her hand. She's calmer than me, but still a little nervous. I worry about the perfection thing. I want her to be kind and honest and cleaver. She has to be cleaver, because of where she comes from. And kindness suits her. But maybe she should lie a little? Maybe she should jump to the wrong conclusion sometimes, be more stubborn, less forgiving. 

She needs some work yet, I think.