Monday, May 10, 2010

The Lost Pages Found and Character Arc

St. Anthony and Jane Jones to my rescue and the lost pages of PENDEROWN have now been printed off, duly read and the little scene cards made up. So now no excuse not to write the synopsis....yesterday I began to look at Victoria's story or journey, which ever you wish to call it. I like it and at the moment it works. As I expected I stumbled when I looked at Demi's. When I sketched out the bare bones of what happens with her it's just okay - only just.

So before I begin weaving these two stories together(and that's already worked out) I need to fix Demi. In preparation, I went back to Julie Cohen's brilliant posts on Character arc here.

Today I will focus on Demi and where my inner voice is screaming - not just quietly speaking. Before I can put the synopsis together I need to figure her out and get to know here better - because right now many interesting things happen to and around her, she has her odd moments of glory but basically she is a piece of limp lettuce and this just won't do.

Is this exercise just another way to procrastinate writing the synopsis? Maybe but I just think it might be good procrastination if that is possible.

Have you had a a limp lettuce character you had to throw in the tub of ice water to perk up? If so how did you do it?


Julie Cohen said...

My current heroine was too limp, which was why I had to ditch 30,000 words. I wanted to make her a computer geek, running away from life, but she just became far too passive, while around her the other characters sparkled.

So I cut the lot and gave her a more active role in her own story, and now she's much better.

Good luck with Demi and I'm glad the character posts are helping in some way.

liz fenwick said...

Julie - I think I will have some serious cutting to do and some very serious rejigging or possibly accept her a secondary character or....which I don't want to - so I need to do some soul searching...I hope it won't require cutting 30K though - not as brave as you!

The posts are great because it helps me look at it a very different way. So HUGE thanks.


Chris Stovell said...

Very pleased to hear that you found the missing pages... your previous post made me go hot and cold! I think the only answer is to be ruthless and rework the character. Good luck.

Debs said...

I'm so relieved you found those pages and was able to make up your scene cards.

I've just had to make a character a little less agressive. It's taken a couple of weeks, but I'm getting there.

HelenMHunt said...

I love the analogy of a limp lettuce character. Brilliant. I agree, it takes a lot of soul searching to fix.

Liz Harris said...

I'm so glad that St.Jude wasn't presiding over your search for the missing pages of Penderown!

I don't know anything about Demi so this is a suggestion from someone in the dark - but could you look at what motivates her and perhaps bump up the motivation to make it something that gives an organic oomph to the plot and makes her more central to the story?

Have fun!

Pen said...

I had a limp lettuce character in my former WIP, but I didn't revitalize him. I eliminated him. it was if he never existed. That was a though call to make.

Somehow, I don't think this is the right solution for you though. :D

Jan Jones said...

Glad my suggestion worked, Liz!

B.E. Sanderson said...

It's never procrastination if it's working toward making your story better. =o)

I've my share of limp characters, but they never make it to the final draft that way. They either firm up or they get tossed in the garbage. ;o)

liz fenwick said...

Chris - yes, I have spent a day working on different things about/around her and she is improving - now i need to let these ideas/changes brew

Well done Debs. Hopefully i can be as successful.

Helen - she less limp more day old lettuce now so must keep working :-)

Liz- motivation is a good tip and it still needs work - see what i said to Helen above. More work required

Pen - as you suspect as the story stands Demi is vital to it - have thought about cutting her...

Jan - so am I!

BE - i like that - it's never procrastinating if it improves the story...right off to buy shoes... :-)


prashant said...

Good luck with Demi and I'm glad the character posts are helping in some way.
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