Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Indecisive characters

khiemtran has been musing here on the relative attractiveness to readers of decisive and indecisive characters.

I really think he may be on to something. I've always been a bit baffled that my readers didn't like some of my viewpoint characters as much as I did. (Otherwise I wouldn't have chosen them for viewpoint characters!) I've also known for years that there's a point in the fantasy whodunit where the book suddenly catches fire. (Unfortuately it's about Chapter 9 and far too late in the day.)

The characters my readers preferred were the decisive ones and the point where the novel becomes much more intense is where the POV character becomes decisive.

Because I've been using omni for the current WIR, I haven't been doing so much wallowing in indecision as I've been guilty of in previous novels. It will be interesting to see if the test readers find this an improvement.

In other news...

I didn't go to the Buddhist talks in the end. It was a day and a half event and I really did have too much to do. If it had been Zen Buddhism, I'd have definitely made the effort, but the monk in question is a Tibetan Buddhist, so quite a lot of it is not really my cup of tea.

Instead I:

  • Got up to date with my online fiction writing tutor group, replied to some messages and set up the first tutorial.

  • Looked in at the tutor group for the masters course I'm taking, but discovered no activity whatsoever

  • Checked list of Things To Do for masters course and discovered I was still up-to-date (though how long that will last remains to be seen!)

  • Realised that LJ is not going to work after all for keeping my Learning Log because it's too hard to find past entries and everything reads backwards. Decided to transfer the entries to far to Word documents on the laptop. (Though I haven't actually done this yet.)

  • Read more of Donald Maass's book Writing the Breakout Novel, which is extremely useful for helping me improve the novel.

  • Starting to think about brainstorming for the new novel, I went to download BrainBox, the mindmapping software I've used for some years, in order to put it on the laptop. Discovered there's now a new and improved version.

  • Also discovered that it also includes speech software so my laptop will now read my prose back to me.

  • Got the computer to read the opening of Chapter 4 and immediately spotted a couple of dull and/or clumsy sentences.

  • Resolved that on the final revision pass, I'll get the computer to read everything to me to help me spot more of the same.

Still to do: Finish marking the rest of the stories for the fiction writing course's second assignment and return them to the electronic system. Also we really out to sort out our flights for the American trip.
Tags: characters, viewpoint, writing reflection

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