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, March 31, 2010

No work of my own; all w-f-h.

Was thinking about former GN. There's nothing driving the story, I'm just telling it. It's an interesting story, but not interesting enough. Missing: What does the MC want?

Well, she doesn't want anything. That's the point. By the end, she decides not only to want something, but to take it. So how does that make a book? Why should the reader care?

I suppose the thing to do--the thing that makes sense--is to show her wanting stuff but not getting it, to shut her down more and more harshly until she doesn't want anything anymore. That doesn't really interest me, though. I like the idea of being raised in an environment where you've absorbed the mindset that you don't matter, that you're not as important as other people. I like that half-formed want that can't even be allowed to take shape.

I'll have to keep considering, though. I know back when I started writing, I got annoyed because people told me I had to end each chapter with a question or hook, when the entire point of a chapter might be that the MC achieves a feeling of safety. Obviously a nice safe ending reflects the idea of that chapter and is right for it. The problem is, who wants to keep reading after that? The overall idea was to establish the feeling of safety, then take it away in the next chapter--but without that question or hook, there's no reason not to put the book down and walk away. I realized that if somebody was reading before bedtime, they wouldn't think, "Oh, I'm sure the feeling of safety will be taken away in the next chapter, so I must keep reading." They'd think, "Here's a good place to quit for the night," and put the book down, and who knows when or if they'd ever pick it up again. Really, they'd have no reason to.

So I know sometimes you have to do something that doesn't seem quite honest to the story, in order to make it a book and not a random slice of your character's life. But I don't want to betray my MC either, by simplifying things or prettying them up. So...will have to think about it.

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