Showing posts from July, 2013

How to keep MC viewpoint within scenes

Following on from last week about keeping your main character at the forefront of your story, we’ll look at the more technical side of character scenes, and how difficult it can be to keep the emphasis with your main character whenever possible.   The thing for writers to remember is that the only time the emphasis should not be with your protagonist is when the scene is from another character’s point of view, otherwise, the viewpoint and emphasis should be on your main character. When there are several characters within a scene, it’s very easy to let the secondary characters inadvertently steal a scene from your main character.   Writers do this without even realising. Here’s a simple example – the scene below is between John, who is the main character, and secondary character, Juliet:- John peered out across the city and gathered his thoughts. He felt Juliet’s presence behind him, shifting with the shadows.   But at least they’d be safe for tonight, although he knew he coul

Keeping Your MC at the Forefront of Your Story

It sounds like an easy enough thing to do because a writer works with their main character continually through most of your story, but there are moments when some writers lose focus, or they veer off the main plot path, and then the protagonist becomes overshadowed by other characters. This is quite a common occurrence, and is most prevalent in new writers who have not yet mastered writing strategies and techniques, but I’ve also seen established and experienced writers fall prey to it, too. It happens to most of us at some point because it’s very easy to zoom through the story while it’s fresh in our minds.   Writers love to ‘go with the flow’, to follow different plot twists and so on, and meander from the main path, and sometimes they become too engrossed in their characters to notice that the main character has slipped into the background.   It’s not until they read through the story that they become aware that something isn’t quite right. Of course, much of what is wri

Watching out for Repetition

Although I’ve covered this before, this subject it’s worth a second look because it’s one of the most common things a writer does, albeit without even thinking. How often during a read through of your manuscript do you think about words within the narrative that crop up time and again?   Probably not that often, and that’s because writers tend not to think too far in advance when in the throes of writing during such creative processes. If you read through any story you’ve written, however, you’ll find inadvertent repetition of certain words. The repeated word really can be anything – someone’s name, a descriptive word, a noun, an adjective, a place name etc.   Sometimes it takes more than one read through to spot them – they blend in quite well with the rest of the narrative, which is why they are sometimes hard to spot. The following is a simple example: John walked across the room and peered through a grimy window to the grey mist outside. Lynn loitered behind him.

Character Basics – Part 2

In Part 2 of Character Basics, we continue our look at the rest of the 10 essentials to follow for characters in fiction writing which should help a writer’s chances of making publication. Numbers 6 – 10:- 6. Something that is set in stone where fiction writing is concerned is to make sure that your characters don’t ever share the same first names.   This will lead to all manner of problems. This is common sense and one rule all writers should adhere to, yet some writers do still make this mistake. 7. It’s also wise to stick to character names throughout the story.   It is not unknown for writers to get surnames wrong halfway through a novel and not even realise it, especially when dealing with multiple characters. For example a Hampton could accidentally turn into Huntington. Is Mr Johnston from chapter three the same as Mr Johnson in chapter nine? Ensure name consistency.   If you don’t spot it, the editor will. 8. Never have a perfect character. They don’t exist. Just