What Have We Learned From This Binge Watch 3: The Antagonist Is Crucial in Building a Team Story

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My biggest problem in writing Nita at this point is not having a clear antagonist. I already knew that my plot was a mess because of that–your antagonist shapes your plot–but until I started considering her team, I didn’t realize that the team’s make-up was also shaped by the Big Bad. Once I thought about it, it was obvious: the make-up and character of the team is defined by the project it undertakes, and the project it undertakes is shaped by antagonist.

Which means I need to learn a lot more about team antagonists. And then find Nita’s. Continue reading

Book Done Yet: So Much Bigger Than I Thought

I always panic at the beginning of a book because I look at it and think, There’s just no there here. (I also panic in the middle and at the end, but for different reasons.) It’s just a story about a Girl who isn’t even My Girl yet, and stuff happens but it’s just . . . stuff. There’s no depth, no layering, it’s all surface.

Well, yeah, that’s because it’s the beginning. Continue reading

AIBC: Going Postal: Character

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When you’ve got a protagonist named Moist Von Lipwig, character is obviously going to be a vivid part of your skill set.

Pratchett’s over-the-top satire is not for everybody, but I’d argue that his characters are universal even while being so far off center they’ve slipped over into a different reality (the one where the universe is a turtle with the world on its back). Continue reading

Lavender: Action is Character

This was going to be a comment in answer to the comments on yesterday’s post, but it got long, so . . .

I have to go back through and reply to everybody (I’m just checking dashboard this AM), but there are two things I’m finding interesting about people requesting that Lavender be spared because they like her:

One is the reinforcement for the idea that action is character. Lavender does everything right, that’s why Liz likes her, and her actions are what everybody here is citing.

But the other is the complete failure of another method of characterization, what other characters say about the character. Continue reading

Person of Interest: 4C, Character in Crucible

Person of Interest Binge LogoOne of the most heinous crimes a writer can commit in relationship stories is the Big Misunderstanding. After spending many chapters/episodes building a strong relationship the reader/viewer can invest in, instead of looking at the very real, character-driven problems that might test a bond, the crisis descends into a misunderstanding that any solid relationship would defuse with an intelligent question. So forget the “I saw you kissing that woman” “That was my sister” stuff; if you want to test a relationship, give it a real test, something that just talking won’t solve. That kind of test almost always goes to character: In this situation, no matter how much this character believes in this relationship, he or she has to walk away. Continue reading