Thursday, 28 May 2015

Even Antagonists Have Feelings...

I've made good progress with the character bios. I've completed those for my hero and heroine- and found out a few snippets I hadn't realised before which will be useful in the later chapters.

Now I'm at the stage of creating the profiles of my antagonists. One isn't very pleasant, but I now know why.

And the second, lesser antagonist, is my heroine's sister. She's not really bad, just selfish. And she's a catalyst without intending to be.

(Now I know they are fictional characters, but they have to be real to a reader, so they need to be real to me too. So remember that as you read the next couple of paragraphs.)

Just like the other characters, the baddies will have had a mother, and perhaps other family members that they may have loved and cared for in their own way.

 They could even have shared some of the same influences and experiences as my protagonists, but something has made them unpleasant instead.

Think of Star Wars, especially episode 3, when you see Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side and taking on the identity of Darth Vader...

I remember a writer explaining that while a reader won't like the bad person, they want to understand why they are bad.

Perhaps it's just human nature; compassion, or the unwillingness to believe that someone could be evil for no reason.

Fortunately my main antagonist is taking a role in a romance, not a gruesome psychological crime thriller...

I hope to be back to writing Chapter Twelve by the middle of next week, if not sooner.

So, do you want to know how an antagonist has turned out that way?

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Chapter Outlines Complete...

I've been lucky to have some undisturbed time today, so I've made good use of it by getting my chapter outlines written up and printed out.
It's the chapters...

I found it really useful with my Nottinghamshire novella- that was planned from the start- and even though some bits moved chapter position, it made it easier for me to work through. The plot ideas were already formed and it reduced how much was still swirling around getting in the way of the 'maybe' stuff.

As I'm already up to Chapter 12 in my contemporary romance the first few pages were done quite quickly, so the brain work started with Chapter 13.

Of course, by the next draft the number of chapters may have changed, but I'm not really too concerned about having some short chapters versus longer chapters- I go for where it feels right to end a chapter. So I may actually end up with twenty by the time it's completed!

This afternoon I've written a little over 1,200 words, and could finally see where everything was going, rather than realising I'd missed something important because my brain's too clogged up with possibilities.

Actually I was even seeing snippets of scenes developing in my mind as I wrote some of the chapter outlines...

Now I just need to get my character bios done. I do have some notes on the main ones, but I need more detail as I've discovered more about them as I've gone along; and neither my hero or heroine are quite as I imagined them at the start- she's stronger minded and daring than I thought, and he's less confident than he appears.

I'm certain that I can make much better progress on my word count once the bios are done this week...

Illustration courtesy of Stuart Miles at