Friday, November 10, 2006

Story? What Story?

I realized last night that my characters aren't unique, really. They don't have some funky character flaw or whatever, that makes them stand out in a crowd. Ben, my hero, is coming along slowly and I have a good feel for him but I'm struggling with my heroine. She's bland.

I checked out Holly Lisle's site to find her brainstorming suggestions (she calls it prewriting) and discovered that I can't really answer ANY of them. Pitiful.

For instance:

What is the hero's secret?
Everybody has one or two, but in this case, the secret we want is going to be the thing the hero can't tell the heroine about himself without betraying some other agenda -- and the fact that he is evasive on this point is going to cause her (and the reader) to be suspicious of him. So -- is he secretly working for a government agency? Digging buried treasure in her back yard? A cop chasing a killer he suspects her of harboring? What?

Ben is a friggin' open book. Guess I should change some of that, huh?

Or this:

What does the hero (or heroine) have to lose?
The fact that he could get killed is a given. What ELSE does he have to lose? Ten million dollars? The serial killer who butchered his sister? A place on the next space shuttle?

Nope, don't have a good answer to that one either.

This is really bad, folks. Ugh.


Allie Boniface said...

Mmm...I get frustrated with character development, too. I think, well, why can't they just be regular people, without some huge looming secret or flaw?

Oh. Then I guess we could just take a walk outside and talk to our totally normal (read: boring) neighbors.

You can do it; I know you can.

Tori Lennox said...

Gosh, I'm not sure any of my characters are all that well-developed either now. Ack!

Pam said...

Oh, now. Buck up. You know where there's a will there's a way. If all this writing stuff came to us like breathing, we'd be bored to tears and off to something more challenging.

When the month is over and the book is done, then you can worry about revisions. For now I thought the plan was to write your heart out? Inner critic get behind thee!!