When a writer sits down to write a novel there comes a point where a main character is born. There could be several main characters, but often there is one that is absolutely central and this character above all others must be well made. There are some obvious reasons why you’d want a well constructed main character, but there is at least one less obvious reason. I’ll start with the obvious, then the less obvious and move into some good ways to address these points in character creation.
Monthly Archives: May 2011
I split this post into 2 parts because it got really long. In part 2 I cover the way I outline and create a chapter list. In future posts I’ll cover my own methods for revision.
Other than just writing, which while true, is not very helpful advice, how do I personally start? There are people who do literally just sit down and start writing by the seat of their pants. Creating as they go, following story lines as they evolve and allowing their work to grow organically. This works for some to varying degrees. I’m pretty sure I’ve read a couple of Steven King novels that were written without much forethought. Unfortunately, unless you hit on the right thing first off, you’ll probably end up doin a lot of editing and rewriting to turn that novel into something useable. The other way, the way I work, is with an outline. That’s all well and good, but how do I build my world and how do I start the outline?
As a means of focusing our efforts and stimulating creativity, the writing group I’m in decided to start nominating a theme to write to for each meeting. What we wrote, whether poem, prose, lyrics or stream of consciousness, was up to us. The point of the exercise is to flex the creativity muscle in our brain. This week’s theme was the number 2111. But how did I go about coming up with something to write given just a number?
The other day on the train I sat next to a woman and pulled my laptop. I opened chapter three of my novel and began revising and editing (which is all I seem to do these days) when she tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was writing a book. After explaining that yes, I was, or rather that I was revising a book I had written, she told me that she had always wanted to write a book, but didn’t know where to start. I gave her some advice that I was given by a famous author.