Monday, October 10, 2011

Journal Report #6

I did a lot of writing this week. A lot. A lot. I'm working hard to revise my novel to my satisfaction before I send it to my mentor for his thoughts. So I revised one chapter a day this week, and since some chapters needed a lot of work I spent a good portion of my week doing this. I will talk about this later.

In class I got my short story, the one about the 12-year-old retrieval specialist, workshopped. The class found a lot of logic problems (story doesn't work, plot doesn't fit the characters), but it always feels good when they like my characters. Characters are the most important part of the story to me; they affect everything that happens because they react differently to events. Also, if you hate the characters you generally put the book down. But I think as soon as I fix the plot holes in my story it will get a whole lot better. But I'm not changing my characters. I love them too much.

As for my novel, it's going well. The problem I'm having with that is when I fix a plot hole (Thomas is a hero. He gets in fights. Shouldn't he have some kind of weapon?) it changes the dynamics of a lot more in the story. If Thomas has a sword, he would probably use it when monsters are trying to kill him. If he doesn't, why not? Does he lose it? Leave it behind? Can he do something else? If he doesn't use it, what does that say about his character? All because I added a sword. Adding it actually solved one of my big problems with another character, but it took a lot of revision.

I'm not trying to make my book complicated. It's a YA fantasy, for crying out loud. But the more I write it the more certain deep themes come out. Thomas in particular is really making the story deep and complicated, but Sarah's throwing me off too. The more I write them, the more certain parts of their personalities come out. They fit the story, they fill the holes I'm patching, but suddenly I sense something huge inside this story. I might be over-analyzing my work because I'm an English major and over-analyze everything. But I'll need to get my friends reading this soon and see what they think. I may need to cut things to make this less intense.

1 comment:

  1. What? Cut to make less intense? No. I mean, unless you think you should. I think characters, as they start to evolve and become real things get deeper, more intense. That's just the way it goes. I would say follow them. Let them tell you their story.

    Great observations about revisions. It is crazy and challenging how one small change can affect so much of a manuscript.

    I love your characters too.