Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Secondary characters

Today saw  two entries in the post for the Clendon Award.
To the uninitiated that may not sound like a lot.
But writing a complete book takes a lot of time and a heck of a lot of energy. The actual writing doesn't take much time, it's the polishing and editing and the analysing that takes the time.

Analysing? I can hear the question mark from here.

But to me this is a critical component.  I am one of those writers who need to take time to analyse a characters motives, analyse what makes them tick and analyse how they interact with other characters.

I may start out with a basic plot idea but during the writing process this is added to and subtracted from until the finished article barely resembles what I started with.

And this is in no small part due to characters insisting that they be allowed to play their own part. In my most recent work, it's three minor characters who have put up their hands to say "notice me".
And when I did take notice I realized they were pivotal to making the main plot work, besides adding a litle flash and dash on the side.

In the beginning they were not even more than a line in the overall scheme of the plot. But when analysing the main characters I realised a lot of their motivations sprung from these two line players.
So I went back and gave these players a voice, albeit a minor one, the whole work came alive.

The result more than pleasing.  
Post a Comment