One thing I’ve noticed in particular about my writing and the WIP I’m slowly but surely making headway on is that I tend to ignore (or perhaps just don’t realize) certain aspects while feeling confident about other areas and second-nature about still more.
I’m sure we all feel this way and do this as well, but then I read another great article by K.M. Weiland about Bullying Your Protagonist, and it helped to bring home this realization all the more.
If there is one thing I’m definitely guilty of, it’s babying the main leads and sometimes a favorite antagonist in my novels.
When your main character doesn’t rely on you to save the day, he’ll learn how to solve the issue on his own.
This isn’t about being a bully or turning your protagonist into one but about how we as authors need to let the child fly using their own wings (or wit, as the article points out).
The trouble is, as great as the advice is, it’s sometimes difficult to see, note, or even detect this type of behavior in my writing. Am I being a mother hen? It’s definitely something to look out for when reading the work aloud to check for errors, grammar situations, and flow.
With my current WIP, I’ve reverted back to old-school methodology and my own past writing style, and I must say I’m pleased with the way things are progressing content and style wise.
Still, there’s always something nagging at me about those same issues that I said evoke a sense of accomplishment. It’s maybe not as good as I think, it isn’t flowing quite as well as it should, and are these guys actually making their mark or are they falling flat and I’m too blind (or involved) to notice?
There isn’t a whole lot of bickering, bitching, nagging, or avoidance in the beginning of my novel, but I did enhance the situations that draw them together for steamy encounters and then rip them apart due to some unforeseen instance that leads to misunderstanding.
It seems necessary because the object of the tale is to prove to both leads that they are both right about their personal convictions while also needing to realize there is always more than one way to look at any life issue that may crop up along the way. Only instead of me pointing it out and telling them what to say or do, I let them do it in their own words by utilizing their own, unique flair.
There is more than one nemesis or antagonist as well, which scared me for awhile due to bad advice from beta and critique at websites where I submitted my work. I realized a bit too late that what I was doing may fall more in line with actual fiction than cut/paste romance novel writing.
I’m cool with it now, though, and I don’t see any reason why my readers won’t be, either. Like it or leave it at this point in the game.
Having too many characters is something we writers hear a lot (a ton, actually) of advice about in online articles. Personally, I see nothing wrong with introducing someone new in nearly every chapter of a book as long as it makes perfect sense why they’re there and that they add something significant to the story. I’m more inclined to believe that what the guru’s are trying to point out is that having nearly every character converge at some point in the novel might be asking too much of any reader — voracious or otherwise.
In this WIP, I’ve introduced two characters that will LATER appear in my fantasy series.
There’s Liv’s biological family back in Europe whom she ends up reuniting with to help before learning the truth behind her kidnapping.
Neal has a mother living on the West Coast and an estranged, famous father living in England. He has to deal with them both at some point, too. Neal is a famous musician, so there has to be moments of paparazzi intervention, posing on a red carpet for them, and ending up in some internet-induced scandal just to spice things up a bit.
Heck, I even gave him a guest appearance on Top Gear so he can test-drive the reasonably priced car.
Liv is a recluse by choice but has a tight-knit group of buds who wander in and out of certain chapters, and with minor relationship issues of their own.
There’s a lot going on, but I’ve managed to tie it all in, tighten it up a lot, and rework some of the key scenes from the previous version that I’m liking tons more even if my son isn’t in complete accord. 😀
As always, this is an onward/upward endeavor, with plenty to keep in mind while I write.
WIP: 44,032 Chapters: 12
Arrived at the half-way point and need to start dealing with the heart of the matter of the story. I’ve spent weeks now mulling things over in my head and feel good about where this is headed. I’m going to create a new title as well, but as of this moment, no ideas yet.