Thursday, April 25, 2013

More than One Hero

I was combing through my child's hair and noticed just how knotty it was. I'd given it what I thought was an anti-tangle treatment (a good read through) the month before but it didn't look like it.

Pieces floated about, tied in knots, not even to the main point.

I know that time gives you distance from your work and I'm grateful. I've seen so many horrible things in my story that I can't believe I never noticed.

But when I'm not writing about the secondary characters in their POV, I can't always keep track of what they did. I know as far as what they got out of it (like if my secondary character fought someone to get to her energy level or if she got that before the fight.)

The details are messy and whether I want them to or not, come through in telling words later, a service to the characters who weren't there and the readers who weren't there either.

I've considered outlines but outlines are one) not my thing, 2) unhelpful without a goal.

I stared at my cast. So many of them are named, but so many aren't. As they are way in the background, probably not mentioned really.

And I was thinking of giving them their own goals?

*laughs madly*

But it's a good idea.

One of my TC's (toughest critic) favorite thing to do is ask about an older, and embarrassingly self-indulgent, story.

The main character has stumbled into a colony of supernaturals who can't let a human know about their existence. She isn't allowed to leave now.

This is the famous 11-book series spawned in half a year. AnyWHO.

TC always ask why the hell the other characters protect the MC. I get tired of answering the same thing but TC is always right. (Or she hasn't been wrong yet.)

My other characters *can* love my MC and come together but they have lives outside of hers. It's one of the things that makes them 3D.

So now, fastforward to my baby who has tangles in her hair. Rip 'em out (ouch!) and with the newly made Hero's Journeys (here & here) weave an outline and keep secondary characters in check.

I get it. That's a lot of work, but look at it this way, you'll see that story you love so much from different views.

And your characters (with their Tags and Traits sheets, Hero's Journeys) will be more real than before. Even your villains/antagonists/etc!

*I freaking love doing these hero things. It's so exciting!

Comments welcomed and adored.