I was reading a science fiction story and there was an alien life form that was as strange, wonderful, and weird as anything I’ve read in a long time. It made me start to wonder about whether the non-humans in my own book are “not human” enough. A couple of them are pretty close, both in their looks and their psychological makeup. But then a couple others are pretty damn weird the more I think of it and I decided I was in a safe place.
But there are a couple things I’m reconsidering. I read a piece on creating characters by Chuck Wending (http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/28/plot-and-character/) and it occurred to me that I needed to dig a little deeper in terms of motivations and conflict for a few key characters. So that’s my task for this week: dig a little deeper for these characters and see if I can’t shore up what I think is wrong.
Another thing that I’m thinking about is the issue of being too black and white. Most of my protagonists are complex, a little good and a little bad. But in some cases that isn’t apparent enough, at least the way I see it. In a post I wrote last week, I noted that I was impressed at the complexity of some of the characters in House of Cards (though watching season two has lessened my admiration). So I am dwelling on that as well, making small adjustments to the back story on some and the actions of others.
My hope is that if I get all this straightened out by the time I’m out of my cast and can really put the nose to the grindstone on writing query letters and submitting some samples. Then I will start on book two in earnest. Provided I don’t break any more bones. You never know, it’s going to be a long summer.