Monday, May 15, 2006

Conf 189:189 Different Ways to Write a Novel

No. of words: 23,773

Quite fancy this Radio drama competition but too much to do. Have worked out need to do 1,350 words a day to finish by end of term. This is leaving weekends and half term clear, so if I slack anywhere have some catching-up points. Some new work in today ('Violent Women!'), though, so it won't be slacking exactly. Also trying to write mini-treatments for 2 new stories.

Louise Doughty's Novel in a Year piece this week was about character development. Contrary to Willy Russell's advice, she suggests writing a full CV for your characters. I have a page of notes for each of my people, and several for leading lady. Virtually all of it, though, put together after the first draft. The best way for me to get to know my characters is to make them speak - as quickly as possible. I've even tried writing a first draft with dialogue only. It's interesting to see how some of them shape up on the page, whereas others don't. That's not interesting though, but bloody annoying. My listing goes like this:

whether protagonist/antagonist/obstacle etc

Birthdate and star sign.

Attitude.

What does s/he want?

Great strengths.

One glaring weakness.

Hidden depths and fears

What does s/he think of other characters?

Voice

What happens to him/her at the end:

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.
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John Baker said...

Confessions of an Author.
Hi, you have an interesting blog. Would you like to exchange links?

Carey Clark said...

How long does it typically take you to write your daily word quota?