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.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I cut a character out today. I hated to lose some of the bits she was in, but in the big picture she wasn't doing much--and I've already got so many characters to juggle anyway. We'll see if the story progresses okay without her. I suspect it will. I'm sorry about those lost bits, though, and am thinking about handing them to somebody else, albeit with trimming and other changes. Probably I'm just slowly talking myself into cutting even those last vestiges altogether. Somehow it's easier to swallow losing stuff I like if it vanishes little by little rather than all at one whack.

Was thinking about how people sometimes gripe about dead or missing parents in YA. Yeah, you try working in a couple of extra characters who not only don't do anything for the story, but actively undermine it because their function (by definition of "parent") is to ease the way for the MC and help solve his/her problems. I'm telling you, my MCs are lucky to ever have any parents at all.

I saw today that Kazuya Minekura has a series out called Wild Adapter, which I may try to get hold of. Apparently it's way upper teen, to the point where it's shrinkwrapped so the kiddies can't get hold of it. Today I was looking at son #2's D. Gray-man, and was really struck by the way it's almost all fighting by books 7 & 8. It's like, introduce a character and everybody fights. Then they fight some more. Then they get wounded, heal, get new powers, fight again. This is really the same for most of the manga I read, but what makes me like manga is character development. I like the backstories and flashbacks and gradual revelations about what drove somebody to be the way they are. Some of the manga just don't have that--and some have to it to start with, but as the series goes on and on all the depth is lost and the whole thing is just a series of fights.

Am still thinking about how to do these cut-to-flashback things in a novel. There doesn't have to be a rhyme or reason to it in manga because the visuals give the clues and set up the change for the reader, but in prose it's bound to be very confusing. The ones I have in my WIP probably aren't working because they're too far apart, so the reader won't understand why the voice and style are suddenly different. It seems like there might have to be some kind of regular pattern to them. Or, I suppose, the design for those pages could just be different. Still, if they only happens once in a blue moon throughout the book, it's going to be confusing.

This also led me to thinking about my other WIP, the swordfighting one on the back burner. I thought, if I was doing it right, it would be more effortless, right? Maybe I just haven't found the way the story needs to be told. I thought about alternating viewpoints again--with much dread, because that's a hugely time-consuming dead end if it's not the right thing to do. And if I think about individual scenes, I just don't see there being enough for each character to chew on for a whole chapter at a time. I don't know. It's a project I still have to grow into, I guess.

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