Monday, April 06, 2009

Unbalance - Hero/Villain

Some of you will remember how the first draft of A Cornish House was soooooo Serena's story and my poor heroine Maddie was a mere shadow of her step-daughter - well the same is happening with the current book. I love Victoria, my antagonist. She is sixty-five, sexy and not willing to put up with anyone. I am loving her story so much that poor Demi is a pale washed out whimp by comparison. Now it took me a year before I could figure out how to make ACH Maddie's story but I did it. I am hoping that it won't take me as long with poor Demi.

In the interim I will go back to just getting the first draft down. Do you see the faults as you are writing? Can you leave them unattended just to get the story out or do you have to fix before you can move on?

15 comments:

Rochelle Michael said...

That is a great question. I find that I'm fixing my flaws as I go, or at least trying to keep balance. I will definitely have to get back in there and repair some stuff. My story contains back and forth first person narratives, and it's easy to get bogged down in one of my character's perspectives and not give the other character as much of a chance to explain themselves to the reader, or the chance to tell the story through their eyes, which can be quite different. It's a constant juggling act. Great post :-)

Jan Jones said...

I can't carry on until I get the bit I'm currently writing right. It's a real pain, and it slows me down something horrible, but I just can't. For me it would be like making a mistake in the pattern at the beginning of knitting a jumper and thinking "Oh, well, I'll go back and correct it later".

We're all different - there's no right way to write!

Fiona said...

I left them all when I was writing Sitting Pretty but there were so many and made reading so hard that I abandoned the whole book.

With The Soldier's Wife, I do go back and correct them - many times but I realise that this suits my little brain better.

Do you think Victoria is trying to tell you something? A sixty something sazzy heroine? Fabulous.

DOT said...

I think the great wish of an author is to assume control. Most of literary theory will tell you you have no control. I'd let the characters take over. :)

Captain Black said...

I have to fix faults immediately if they are serious plot holes or time line issues, otherwise things get worse before getting better. For lesser issues, I just note them down in my to-do list as I go, then return to them when I've hit a milestone or the finishing post.

DOT said...

No comment on this BBC report, though obviously a comment on the fact that I am posting it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7985361.stm

KAREN said...

I do tend to edit as I go along, but it's hard to know where to stop sometimes! I can't help myself though, and it seems to get me into the flow of things so it's not all bad :o)

cs harris said...

It depends on the problem. If it's something that's going to effect the rest of the book, I go back and fix it, since I know I'll be compounding the problem if I keep going. If it's simply a matter of realizing I need another scene inserted, or something else that does not necessitate a major reworking of plot or characterization/motive/attitude/goals, then I try to keep going.

Debs said...

I try to fix any flaws as I go along, but usually only notice the big ones when I read through the first draft. They're the ones that take me months to figure out.

Lane said...

I didn't notice the huge imbalance when I was writing the first draft. The m/c was completely dwarfed by the sub plot. Sorting out the mess is time consuming and I'd definitely plan better next time.
Live and learn:-)

Flowerpot said...

I try and fix some flaws as I go, but I try and get the gyst of it right then get the story down. But I guess we're all different. I love the idea of Victoria - she sounds great!

Nell Dixon said...

I write a fairly clean first draft but I keep a notebook handy so for major boo boo's or queries I make a quick note so I know where I need to go back in to do some tweaking.

Philip Sington said...

You have to be very careful that what you currently perceive as a fault, is actually a fault. It may be nothing of the kind. If you find that your creative drive (or, to put it more plainly, your interest) is taking you in a certain direction, towards one character, for example, and away from another, that may be happening for a good reason. It may be that your original plan was flawed, and that the book you should have set out to write is the book you are now, in fact, writing.
I always write to a plan, but when, during a first draft, I find the story veering off in an unexpected direction, I am careful not to force things back on track - unless I'm convinced that I'm digressing in a way that is bound to go nowhere.
Often real originality (that most undervalued of virtues) arises not from thinking about your story before you write, but in the act of writing itself.
So be prepared to sacrifice your original plan, if your enthusiasm is taking you in a new direction. If the new direction turns out to be promising, you can then go back and begin again with your new shape and themes to guide you.
All the best,
Philip

http://thiswriterstale.blogspot.com/

Michelle Styles said...

So what is it about your antagonist that you love? And why can't she be your hero?

Remember a hero leads. A hero is proactive and makes things happen.

Steve Malley said...

I *have* to let my 'flaws' lie until I'm done.

I've wasted way too much time trying to 'repair' a 'broken' bit of story, only to find out by the end that it didn't matter anyway. For me it's like sketching: there's no point fussing over getting the tilt of an eyebrow just right when it may turn out the character was making a different face entirely!