Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sometimes Backward Is the Way Forward or What's Up With the Wimpy Protagonist?

I was going to begin with a philosophical question, but I think I need to work up to it. In my novel, Under the Suns of Sarshan, my heroine is always, as my brother would put it, "landing in the soup." More to the point, she's always breaking bones, blacking out and laying in a hospital bed away from the crew and passengers she's meant to protect. I'm in the process of righting these wrongs. I'm having her make every entrance on her feet, fighting for her people.

I just rewrote chapter 14 --again, rather than moving on to the revision of chapter 17, where I left off. Like I said, sometimes, backward is forward. It was a major plot problem that was easier to fix before finishing later chapter revisions. Or is it just that I couldn't stand it when I realized that my second half was falling flat and lacking tension and risk? My epiphany demanded action. My novel demanded action.

So, why did I write my heroine like that? Was I feeling vulnerable at the time? Feeling that life was happening to me rather than the reverse? Hmmmm....

Well, onward and upward. I'm running out of people to kill. I've made for closer quarters to provide for more interpersonal tension. I'm also delaying the news of their ultimate fate, inserting more information about the mysterious saboteur and will reuse the xenoterrorists in conjunction with said saboteur.

The really funny thing? One of the subjects I suggested that I could present for BayCon was "Keeping Your Character's Feet to the Fire". Certainly I didn't mean by knocking them down physically every chance you get.

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