Tuesday, September 26, 2017

BAT and other characters

Lux and Cece are currently highly amused by a new book called I AM BAT

It's a simple book for 2-5 year olds but Lux is 7 now and she loves it. Who cares about age? I love it. They face-timed me on Sunday and Lux held up the book and turned the pages so that I could read it aloud, which in itself was lovely because I so miss reading to them both. 

Lux has been so taken with the character of BAT that she has copied the illustrations:

I suppose this counts as fan-fiction for picture books.

Creating memorable characters is vital when you're writing fiction. I had no trouble creating Fran in BUT I TOLD YOU LAST YEAR THAT I LOVED YOU, or in dreaming up Sally Howe in PLOTTING FOR BEGINNERS and PLOTTING FOR GROWN-UPS. Fran is serious and has a social conscience the size of the national debt, but she does have a sense of humour, which is one reason she has put up with Sol for so long. Sally Howe is lightweight and entertaining and can be a bit of a dope, but she is also driven.

My current female lead, Jane, is nearly there in terms of being a fully rounded character, but not quite. Last week, for example, Sally Howe burst into the text and had to be booted out. It was a part of the story where a lot had happened in a short space of time, and I wrote the third person narration like this:

She was desperate to get away. She had to get away! The last week had been one thing after another and who knew what would happen next? She felt as if she was living in a fast moving soap opera that had far too much plot. 

The next day when I was reading back what I had written I realised that the idea in the last sentence was something that Sally Howe would think and not something Jane would think. It's a writer's perspective, and Jane is not a writer. So maintaining the integrity and strength of a fictional character is not just about how a character acts and how they talk, it's also about how they frame things. Well, yes.

I seem to have strayed into writer's blog territory, and I apologise to all non-writers reading this. The thing is...writing is where my head is right now which is why I am not blogging so much.

OK. I have an empty house till 8 o clock tonight, and I am going to write. Target - 3,000 words.

No comments: