Development Diary #6

Slipping into Someone Else's Shoes

I never really know a character until I write from their perspective. Of course, I know what they look like, how they talk and their backstory, but it’s not the same as actually being in their head, thinking their thoughts and feeling their emotions. Last week I finally got to write from the perspective of a character my story has been with for a while. What I learn from this will help me hone who he is for the previous parts. Note to self: every one of my characters deserve my deep understanding.

 

Do Unto Others

I recently listened to a program about POWs and it made me think: “How do I deal with this in my story?” Fortunately, I don’t need to address it yet, but now that that box is open in my mind, I can’t help but consider it. I have a few ideas about how it could become significant, but I can’t address it unless it has true purpose.

 

Finding a Scene’s Focus

When you’re revising a piece of your work after it has sat cold for quite some time, it becomes vividly clear why the scene isn’t working. What’s even more interesting: all the pieces were there, but the primary focus of the scene was underplayed and the secondary reasons were overplayed. I even placed in elements for symbolism, but backed away from using them as sophisticated literary devices. Moral of the story? Let your manuscript cool off a bit before diagnosing its problems.

 

Deception For A Greater Good

I love when I have a character who knows more than they’re letting on. Eventually, it will be revealed why this character has pulled the proverbial wool over other characters’ eyes, but he’s doing it because he believes that it’s for the greater good. Unfortunately, that kind of process is what got their world into the place it is now. Old habits die hard.

 

The Blind Leading The Blind

There’s a piece of my story that I’m sure any editor would encourage me to cut. The book would likely hang together without it at all. Because I really want to tell it, I found new ways for it to be useful. I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to introduce world building elements in a way that I’d never seen before. It allowed me to introduce different cultures that I don’t get to talk about until the next book. I also found a way to allow the story to cross theme-streams with the arc of one of my primary characters. I may be able to cut it out of the book and still have the book work, but using it this way will give the entire series more of a solid foundation.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you enjoy Epic Fantasy stories in the vein of Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey and Brandon Sanderson?

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