Since I’ve been having such a challenging time writing the beginning of the story, I decided to write the ending and see if that helped.
Here are some of the realizations that cleared things up:
1) Two of my characters who were never supposed to like each other actually do like each other. It’s surprisingly natural
2) POV 2 who was supposed to still be a bad guy is not actually a bad guy. Yay!!
3) POV 2 has a more compelling arc than the MC
4) POV 2 has a more complete arc than the MC
5) Oh my goodness!! POV 2 should be the MC!!!
So, commence another rewrite—Draftset 7 I think?—completely changing who the main character has been for the entire other 29 or so drafts I’ve written. 🙂
As a sidenote, I originally created POV 2 to be a bad guy because I had this other character whom I really, really liked and didn’t want to be a bad guy. Well, after writing that other character, I don’t actually like him a whole lot. XP And now, POV 2 is taking over the story. 🙂
I haven’t been updating my writing blog lately for a couple of reasons:
1) I don’t have Internet and life is crazy busy at the moment
2) I’m feeling stumped
As I have mentioned before, writing Book 1 is like pulling teeth. I had a draft I knew was as good as I could get it by myself. I was about to begin submission when, praise God!, I had the opportunity to join an online critique group of fellow YA fantasy writers. Let me say, feedback is hard.
A couple of my critique partners were generally encouraging and on board with the story, but even they didn’t always understand what I was trying to do. On the whole, my critique partners didn’t understand my MC. One in particular took an immediate dislike to him, and he could never do anything right. Even the ones who liked him thought he came off as lazy and stupid. I was devastated. That’s actually the reaction other characters had to my MC. They thought he was lazy and stupid in spite of how hard he was working.
I realized I had a big dilemma on my hands. How to convey how intelligent and hard-working my MC is when he struggles in school (especially with book learning), takes longer to learn things than others do, and easily loses his sense of time (resulting in being late a lot). These are real challenges that real (intelligent, hard-working) people face.
Something that was easier to deal with was the realization that a subplot forming part of both my main characters’ motivations was unnecessary. That cleared up a lot of things.
I still have trouble concisely stating my MC’s motivation. It’s a bit abstract. It’s very realistic, but as we know, realistic doesn’t always make good fiction. I had another realization that might help. I had always said that my MC was trying desperately to prove his worth to his commanding officer and to his family, but that’s not really true, is it? He’s trying to prove his worth to himself. Ah, now that is more compelling.
#WIPJoy Day 31 Your dream cosplay from your WIP
I don’t find their clothes too interesting, since they mostly dress in military uniforms or 40s style clothes. I might do the medic uniform, but I’d probably want to dress up like one of the female aliens, if I could somehow make my hair and dress float in the air like weeds in a lake. 😉
(this is a very old picture, but it gives an idea anyway)
#WIPJoy Day 30 How do your characters celebrate holidays, if they do?
They celebrate the New Year by having a festival, the central event of which is burning the old year. They have a feast and games and then a young girl sings the New Year song.
Or, if you’re in the Coruba’round, the old year and the new year fight it out in a sword battle before the new recruits get their first training session. 🙂
#WIPJoy Day 29 What’s something that’s creepy in your WIP?
#WIPJoy Day 28 Protagonist—Worst way to die?
Travis: “Alone and abandoned by everyone you thought loved you is the worst.”
Derek: “Dying to save the day would be okay, but failing everybody and then dying—that’s the worst.”
#WIPJoy Day 27 Side character—Your secret vice?
(this was hard. when my characters have vices, they usually aren’t secret, and when they have secrets, they usually aren’t vices . . . )
“Everybody thinks I’m too young to be in the military or that I’m too nice or naive, but I’m pretty good at cheating at cards. :-)”