Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10,000 big ones

I’m changing the subject from our holiday plans. There’s more than a little Mr Toad in the Beattie family personality, which I don’t wish to highlight any further…

I am going through my next 10,000 words as they are due with my mentor on Friday. On Sunday my heart sank as I began to read through. My family, whose minds were all on the snow in Siberia, were distinctly unmoved by my trauma. On Monday, I got past the first two pages, and there were definite signs of improvement. I marked up the pages (I confess, while I had a pedicure!) with big strokes of the pencil I stole the complementary, promotional pencil from the hotel in Korat… It’s a perfect pencil; dark enough without being too soft and it keeps its point beautifully so they found their way into my pencil case. (Yes, damn it, okay I stole two pencils.)

I am desisting from shovelling MORE on my metaphors. Clearly dialogue comes relatively easily to me, for which I am thankful. But! There has to be a but… But, characterisation; emotional roundness of my main character… Can’t work it out. She’s STILL two dimensional.

What to do?


Debs said...

Love that you checked your work whilst having a pedicure. Your life sounds so fabulous.

sheepish said...

Can't work out whether the toad reference is the "conceited, self-centred and lacking in basic common sense" or the "very rich " bit. Do Toads have toe-nails by the way???
Seriously though love the idea of the train ride and Mongolia but not the -40.

JJ said...

Debs, I'm a shocker, eh?

Sheepish, I think it's the 'impulsive desires' and 'lacking in basic common sense' and we'd be happy to think it was 'lovable and has his heart in the right place' too.

Yeah, I think we're with you on that. I want to visit camels in the gobi desert, and they might not like the cold!

Lane said...

Had to look up Mr Toad too:-)

Agree with Debs. Fabulous indeed:-)

ChrisH said...

My bum still isn't numb enough - I've got to do more writing - well done you! If you do decide on your very chilly holiday you'll open up a whole new 'freezing my a*se off' debate!

KAREN said...

I was once told kindly(by the RNA)that my main character, in a previous novel, wasn't well-rounded enough...I hadn't fed in enough 'back-story' to make her come to life, and also she was too reasonable! It's tricky but what I do now, when my MC is in a particular situation, is think "what would I do, why would I do it and what might have happened in the past to make me react/behave like that?" Then I apply it to my character.

Probably no help whatsoever, but just thought I'd throw it in :o)

JJ said...

Oh dear, am I horrid spoilt woman?

Lane, no harm looking him up - he was daft and over-enthusiastic, but rather likeable!

Chris, Oh blimey, I didn't think of that. Brilliant. More arses.

Karen, thank you. Absolutely anything is a help. I seem to be struggling with her voice ... also how close I am allowing myself with her POV.

HelenMH said...

I find a couple of exercises from The Weekend Novelist (I think that's the right book) helpful.

One is about dressing your character. What are they wearing and why? What do their clothes mean to them? Are they, for example, wearing a watch that means a lot because it was a gift?

In the other, you write a dream for your character. You can really go off on a tangent with this one - what are they dreaming? Is it a recurring dream? What does this tell you about their preoccupations?

I found both of these really helpful when I first started my novel.

JJ said...

Thanks Helen, I haven't got that book, and they all help.

Carol and Chris said...

I'm sure you will work it out honey!!

C x