Dear Characters - Part 3 (NaNo '14)

NaNoWriMo update: a bit over 50k (with a projected total of 125k over the next few months), enthusiasm for the main plot flagging, writing stalled... and I finally realize why. I was trying to do one plot. I learned with book 1 in the series that my writing style works best with a large cast of main characters split in half. Half the characters do one thing, the other half do something else, and at some point what they're doing overlaps. (Heck, in book 1 I split the party on about five separate occasions, reshuffling my six characters differently each time. It kept things fresh.)

I know a lot of authors don't write this way, but if it's what works for me, I should stick with it, right? :)

So this brings me to...

Dear Chantrell, Gilly, and Ametrine,
Thank you so much for being the teenagers you are and demanding your own plot! The fact that Ametrine and Chantrell are daring each other to go ghost hunting because they don't believe that Gilly interacts with these is perfect! Fingers crossed the originally-planned-but-forgotten Scooby-Doo-style subplot has let my enthusiasm return!

-Chell: Sorry for switching the POV away from you, but I'm thinking it'll be better with Gilly as the narration character. She can't speak, so it's a lot easier to develop her as a character when I can follow her thoughts. That said, when did you turn into a girly-girl? Granted a girly-girl in practical shoes, but the eyeshadow came as a surprise.

-Gilly: So today I learned that your grandmother was a medium/priestess-type-figure who helped ghosts cross over to the correct plane and she taught you how to do this. This'll definitely be relevant in my rewrite of book 1! Question, though: how can you talk to ghosts when you can't vocalize? Is there some telepathy with shadow elementals going on? ... but that should mean you should be able to speak telepathically with Etri. (Shhhh. Don't tell him he's half-shadow. He has enough complexes as it is.)

-Ametrine: I already like you, kid. You're easygoing, helpful, and fun. One question: what exactly is your gender? So far I have you as "him", but I'm not entirely sold on that one. Ah well, after writing Drake for almost a year, I'm sure I can figure you out if you're also non-cisgender. Another question: what's your carnival act? You seem surprisingly good with horses, but that doesn't seem act-related. I think you just grew up working in a stable.


Dear Etri, Adair, and Blythe,
What the HECK happened to your plot?? I've been writing the three of you consistently for a year with no problems and all of a sudden your plot stalled! In book 1 you had too much plot and now I feel like I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel to get any plot out of you. I'm tempted to ground the three of you to your rooms without dessert until you behave and give me words, but you're the adult characters. Sheesh. Besides, it won't work. Adair would just spend the time painting, Etri would read, and Blythe would sharpen every weapon she owns until they wore down to nothing.

-Etri: You know you have a fear of being choked after being killed by a cloud of magic-spawned gas. So why on earth did you try fire-eating without Blythe (the flipping healer) to supervise? What exactly did you think the smoke was going to do to you once it got close to your face? *headdesk*

-Adair: While I'm writing the other trio, can you come up with a funny thing to do with your disguise? This feels like the potential for silly, but you're acting overly serious with it. Stop it. You're my comic relief of this side of the story.

-Blythe: I loved that you facepalmed when Adair gave his fake name as "Blair" when the two of you went to meet the corrupt art dealer. That's the kind of thing I expect out of you guys! And handing Adair an article of clothing to try on for his costume that looked like a dress? Comedy gold! This is what I want from you guys!

~Meri, your writer who seems to like the number three.



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