Monday, July 15, 2013

Verbing Good Ideas

Verbing verb of a noun...

In an effort to live up to my 'blog once a day' goal, I'm offering you all a snippet of a rant (a snippant? a ranppit?), by me, for me, about me.

Talks with Pestritto on Rye (my -hee!- literary agent) led to a brilliant idea (hers) for an adjustment to ze book. Sans spoilers, the adjustment involves giving a particular character a...y'know...motive. For anything. Whereas before he was just sort of a gentle, pitiful young man who gets kicked around because he's a gentle, pitiful young man who was born into fortune.

Now, he has goals! There is a legit reason why the people he was born to lord over want to yank his birthright out from under him! He is a young man who is prepared to take action--unpopular action that could lead to epic war!--to do what he believes is right.

Woohoo!! Thanks, Pestritto on Rye! I am so excited about this change!!

Except it has caused this character's voice to become moot.

In revamping the introductions for the human characters (another brilliant idea from Pestritto on Rye) I have created a situation where each character gets a chance to show their mettle. In some cases, it is a really crappy mettle. But with the original setup, they all just sort of...appear. The MC (a pond siren) finds the lot of them all just sort of hanging out, waiting for rescue. This was convenient, and offered zero opportunity to really, properly introduce any of these silly lost things.

The new introductions are fantasmic, says I. But the chapter where we meet the young man mentioned above is giving me so. Much. Verbing. TROUBLE. Because now I don't know who he is.

Actually...yeah, I do. Because I've been meditating on this for several days now, trying to properly meet this character who is now actually a person rather than a Living MacGuffin. I've learned a lot about him, and I really, really like him better now. But I still struggle with his voice--partially because I know where he's going and where he's been better than where he is at the start of this particular story.

So. I think I need to assign myself some homework. Movie homework. Literature homework. I want this character's voice to ring true. I just wish I knew why I was struggling so hard to make it happen. And patience is not my virtue.

Know what I'm saying?

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