Start with character

It’s Thursday and of course I’m nowhere near my goal of “having this shit figured out, established a routine and wrote an outline” yet. There also should have been a decision about what novel to write at some point…

I’m about 90% certain that I will restart and rewrite the science fiction novel, working title: Spacedames!

A long time ago I even submitted it to Ryan Lanz’ blog for a critique of the first 350 words in his section Under The Microscope. The feedback was in line with what I thought too: it needs some more tuning but it is a good opening. I can do openings, the big swampy middle is my weakness.

Now in my quest of being smarter than usually about this process, I decided to actually use some of the many writing books I have acquired. As I said in the last post, I’m using 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron and Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker. And I’m also listening to the writingexcuses podcast.

Combining all that knowledge from Aaron saying that “effective writing starts with knowledge” (paraphrasing here) and Hawker saying to start with the character, and an episode of the podcast about characters, I took a good long look at my MC. And I have a problem.

My main character is stubborn, confident and knows how to act rational despite being nervous. And she stays that way. My character has no arc.

This is something I have to address and maybe it’s also one of the reasons that I stopped writing this story at about the 30% mark, a destiny that so many other stories have met before. In a way, I sensed that something did not work with it. And I’m also lacking a theme despite the obvious “lost in space” with sexy aliens vibe .

My homework for the coming week: Develop the main character, give her an arc. And decide on a theme for the novel.

How about you? Does your main character have an arc?

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2 thoughts on “Start with character

    1. A start is a start, right? Occasionally I like to remind myself that every book I have on my shelves has started this way at one point. All we have to do is to keep going.
      Thanks for your comment, it definitely feels better to know I’m not alone!

      Liked by 1 person

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