I have just finished reading a blog which has yet again made me question my work in progress. ( http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2013/11/top-25-ways-write-awesome-book.html )
Not in a bad way. In fact it was thoroughly comforting to read the 25 tips and realise just how much I have learned about this writing a novel thing over the past 11 months. It was also possibly the most useful blog I have read which seemed to encompass everything one would need as a guide to writing a novel. I got to thinking though that I wish it had been there over two years ago when I started. But then I changed my mind and realised without having gone through the process of writing it would have meant nothing to me before hand.
So what has reading this blog meant for me and the progress of Prophecy of Innocence?
I knew I had to do a massive edit on point of view. Having so many characters (as my work in progress is a fantasy/ quest story) point of view is proving really difficult. Especially as I don’t really have, and never had planned on having, one main protagonist. This is mainly due to the fact (confession alert) I never did make much of a plan. I had no story arc or character arcs. (What were they?) In fact I had no characters! I just had a plot. Quite a loose one at that.
Reading this particular blog made me realise this is okay to a point but on the other hand characters drive plot forward so I was a little naive to think I could write a good story without giving character much thought. However, as I wrote my characters started to develop their personalities. Unfortunately this meant endless editing and revision because I had to ensure the characters did not do things at odds with other things they did or said.
This has led to me writing character information cards but this has proved difficult as I am doing it with hindsight. But then I read “THE BLOG” and I realised I needed to give all of my main characters a ‘need’. I realised I hadn’t given them individual goals. They had a common goal but this was the plot goal and so the characters became quite two-dimensional in many ways. They didn’t all necessarily have their own voice.
This is why I am struggling with Chapter 5. It involves three of the more minor characters, so P.O.V is proving difficult. The main(ish) protagonist is not there but I need the chapter and he can’t be there. (I thought about him being there but he can’t be!) So I dislike the chapter intensely right now. I hate it because I know it is way inferior to the previous four chapters and worse I know what I need to do to fix it. I need to give these three characters more individual goals and develop their personalities rather than rely on the main goals of plot. This involves a lot of hard work and I already feel over two years writing one book is a tad on the epic side. But I guess that’s what happens when you start on something you know absolutely nothing about.
I think I am slowly being driven insane by my ever increasing knowledge of the writing process, but I am determined to get these books right, however long it takes.
Hope you can keep on with me as this epic journey continues.