Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Putting Characters in a Pickle Can Be A Problem...

I've finished the first half of the Battle for Shorwin's Hold, and finished Chapter Eight, too.

It turned out to be a long chapter -probably because I deviated somewhat from the blueprints, and also probably because I'm a newbie when it comes to writing battle-scenes- and what I've come to realize is that upping the stakes for a character (especially one that sort of forced himself into POV-ness) might always be a good thing (we're in the business of creating conflict, after all) but it also creates unforeseen problems.

Case in point, one of my guys had half his face clawed off; not only is he unconscious but now there's no-one to control his side of the arena. And I'm not, NOT, going to let another character steal POV-ness, so now I'm left with the enviable position of having to, well, do something. No idea what, yet. The idea to put him in the position he's in at the moment came like a bolt from the heavens - it doesn't only up the stakes for him, but for everyone in the battle, so I went ahead with it, and now I have to let my subconscious run with it for a bit before I plunge ahead.

Not a bad thing, since my brain works this way -the ideas and situations have to stew a bit before they spring forth again, mostly fully-formed- but a bit of an irritation because I was really hitting my stride and hoping to charge my way into the 40K region.

Alas, battles must be hard-fought to be thrilling, right? :-)

Wordcount for the evening: 634
Wordcount for the novel: 38152


  1. Thanks for giving me this link on twitter. I'm really interested in this kind of stuff. I'm not even sure why. I think it's because I read so much and I admire the sheer mental prowess an epic author must have to create their book (world, characters etc) that I just find myself absolutely fascinated by it. The character conundrum is interesting in and of itself. Do you pre-plan what happens to characters in your books or do surprises like this one happen often?

  2. I plan the over-all character arc but I don't try and control any of the details - I've got an idea for how each arc should progress, and sticking to that it pretty easy, but the details are what makes it fun, and usually when a character does something that I hadn't planned on it just adds more to the arc - in terms of who that character is and the kind of person they're growing into. :-) So, I don't try and control too much - plot-wise I stick to what needs to happen, but with the characters it much more uncontrolled. :-)