Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Wonders

There are a lot of controversies in the writing world.
• To love triangle or not to love triangle
• To write for characters or to write for plot
• To plan or to sit on the seat of your pants
• To discuss sex, alcohol, and drug in YA or not to discuss sex, alcohol, and drug in YA
• To censor our writing or to say whatever flows

Personally one thing I think should be discussed more is “to create a likable character from the beginning or to create a fuller character arc”. Actually, I don’t know if this is discussed at all. I’ve never seen anything about it before which perplexes me.

Everyone says: start your story with something to make your character more likable
Everyone says: there must be a character arc or what’s the point

My WIP starts with my MC trying to kill someone. Personally, for the well being of society, I really hope many people don’t relate to wanting to kill someone. Spoiler: she does over time grow and learn to accept what’s happened to her life

This chapter was difficult for me because I didn’t want to over ride future reader with depressing thoughts that could make the reader feel distant, but I also didn’t want to make her seem like a warm and fuzzy person that people automatically relate to and risk not having a full character arc.

In the end, I had to decide whether I wanted the chapter to lean more towards character arc or a relatable character beginning.

I choose character arc because that is one of the big things about my MC. I want my future readers to see her grow.

The thing I learned that balanced the two sides out for me was adding in part of one of my subplots (a romantic subplot ;)) that makes my MC relatable. Maybe this was a “no duh” kinda thing, but this took me forever to do well.

What do you think is more important: character arc or relatable character beginnings? Do you have trouble with this? Do you think this should be discussed more in general?

Don’t forget Monday is the last day to submit YaLit Six membership forms. I really hope some of y’all send in an email. Also we also take post suggestions if you feel like there is something you would like our opinion or advice on.