The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This swordfighting WIP has had ongoing problems with the girl character (all my mss have problems with the girl characters). In this ms, the main girl is fuzzy and I can't wrap my mind around her, and even if I ever do on occasion manage to wrap my mind around her I can't keep it there. This is a major reason for all my trouble spots, because even if I know generally what happens in a scene, it can't happen realistically and in an interesting, story-forwarding way if the characters aren't driving the action. Without a nailed-down character, the story is a partial skeleton with no flesh or guts.

A writer friend points out a minuscule trouble spot very early on that, if nailed down, would set the tone for the girl character's entire arc. In this spot, I fuzz out and give the reader zero indication of who this girl is. Writer Friend suggests writing it out from the girl's POV. Excellent idea, Writer Friend!

It scares me though, a little. Thinking about it, I'm worried about getting off on some weird course. I have so many things in my head about this ms that take over whenever I try to start figuring out a character I'm weak on. I start pushing the characters around. What I need them to do seems carved in stone, when I'm really supposed to be letting them decide what to do. So...I think what I'll do is write a scene (or whatever I feel like writing) that's not going to be in this book, a scene that takes place afterwards, after everything in this story has been resolved. I think I'll see where she stands then. I won't be able to use any of this in the ms, of course. But jeezus, I hope it helps. I'm sick of not being able to get this right. It's like I'm trying to walk across a room and somebody keeps sticking a foot out to trip me. All I want to do is walk across the room! How freakin' hard can it be?

Maybe, after this thingee (my word for working-out-character bits that don't go in the ms), I should also write a thingee that takes place before this story. Don't know if I'll have time today, though.

So to write.

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