1. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92

    entire novel with just two characters?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Elgaisma, Aug 11, 2010.

    I know its been done before, but I am wondering how easy it would be to do?

    I've decided the main character in my book, but I am now liking the idea of two brothers sorting out their differences whilst they search for their respective partners that have been kidnapped.

    I guess any advice?
     
  2. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    with the plot you have in mind, i don't see how they can be the only two people in the whole book, while they 'search' for two others that will have to be at least mentioned... where could they be searching where there won't be any people?
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    So these will be the only two characters in the entire novel? They won't interact with anyone else?

    It's certainly possible, but I think you'll have to be a damned good writer to hold people's interest through an entire novel with such a restricted cast of characters.
     
  4. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I am contemplating introducing an ancient tribe of troglodytes about a third of the way through for about a chapter. And the last chapter or two will have their respective partners. I have just written two chapters with really just the brothers (not counting the boys in the classroom that left in the second paragraph), I like the idea of exploring what happened in my first novel in more depth, it should standalone as a story well.

    I know where those that have been kidnapped are being kept. I'd used it in my previous novel then took it out, its remote. It would be possible for them to only meet the occasional other person.

    They would mention other people, but not meet any others. I want to continue telling it from the first person point of view of the older brother.

    Oh and there will be the obligatory bird fight at the end:) I am killing off a character. But all bar about four chapters would be just them.

    There is a lot of tension to be sorted out and I think there is enough basic conflict and friendship to pull it off, they are not really brother's which they find out towards the end of the book somehow, there is jealousy about their dad's affections, resentment from the younger one about dumped with all the responsibility, why the younger one was never told his Mother was murderd by their grandfather etc
     
  5. The Prelude
    Offline

    The Prelude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Trapped in profile, send help
    I figure, any interesting novel about just two characters would be a must-read for any writer. If you read a lot of character-heavy work, then the easier it is for you to deviate from your influences or express them in radically different ways, the easier it'll be for you to pull it off.

    It's a matter of finding just as much value in things that aren't actual people - and there are many. There are words, old conversations, the things people leave around ... you could even have your main characters in a crowded city, where they deal with dozens every day, and not physically show them. How stimulating is their non-fleshy world, your own world, and the readers' world because of it? There are plenty of fun ways around it. Imagine how much an exercise like this would open your mind and alertness.

    Elagisma (huh, now I'm very curious to know what your name means :p), I really hope you do this. Binding elements in your writing, and the original things we come up with because of it, can be an immense rush.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    El - Elana, Ga - Gabriel, Is -Isaac, Ma - Marmee - used to be Elgama which was better as my Norwegian friends say it means Moose you see.

    Thanks Prelude, I developed my idea more over the night and I think its going to work really well. I need to revisit my first novel, as I need to resurrect two characters that died at the end, also I changed the identity of the older brother but I don't want to do that now. If I do that all except the second chapter and the last chapter will have just the brothers, occasional interaction maybe with like a shopkeeper.

    It could be disaster but I can always go back and change it after the first draft. Also being Young Adult fiction I can get away with as little as 40,000 words.
     
  7. Sang Hee
    Offline

    Sang Hee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sweden
    Seems like a nice challenge. I believe you could even write a novel with just one character. I am Legend has almost done that, almost.
     
  8. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I have taken out all characters so far, except a brief interaction at the beginning and a ghostly appearance from their father, and being reunited with their partners at the end. I have written loads today. Its starting to look like it might work, then again I am not above deleting all my words and starting again:)
     
  9. Sang Hee
    Offline

    Sang Hee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sweden
    You're so lucky you just can just sit down and write a lot. I usually spend a lot of time thinking trying to find the way how to properly convey the whole story.
     
  10. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    What matters is you have a good story at the end. One that you love writing and you are pleased with at the end:) How quickly we do it doesn't matter.

    Part of it is I had the story before I had the world, my world is a tool in telling the story, And the beauty of fantasy is you can make it do pretty much anything you like it allows me to use all of my mind. I have dyslexia and dyspraxia so reading and writing didn't come easy to me, as a result I had to practice and I think thats where the speed comes from. Combination of the helicopter brain the dyspraxia has given me and because I needed to sit every night writing pages to have half way decent handwriting.

    its a mixed blessing, we all write differently and for different reasons. Growing up women like Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton were my slightly barmy but brilliant heroines I loved their books and I would love to be prolific:) Just imagine writing that much.

    But I make a lot of mistakes, I just spill it out on the page. I have written 100,000s of words to produce a novel of just shy of 50,000 words. If I have a day without the kids I can write about 15,000 words in a day, but that is a rare luxury. A happy medium would be nice, where I make less mistakes and don't need to be deleting so much.
     
  11. Shinn
    Offline

    Shinn Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    925
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I've had some practice with writing short stories based around two characters and it turned out pretty well in my case. There's no harm in trying is there?
     
  12. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Thats what I think Shinn. I am happy to stop if it doesn't work. Last night it seemed like a crazy idea. 3 first draft chapters later its looking like it might work, I'll be using other characters at beginning and end but the bulk of the book will be just Socrates and Angus:)
     
  13. Shinn
    Offline

    Shinn Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    925
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    New Zealand
    like I always say, give something a go to see if you're keen on it :D
     
  14. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    :) So far I am having a ball writing it, I love both chracters and if nothing else I'll enjoy spending time as Socrates talking to Angus. (I was Angus for my first book). Its been fun seeing how Sorcrates see's the same things I wrote in my last book from Angus's perspective.
     
  15. The Prelude
    Offline

    The Prelude New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Trapped in profile, send help
    Yess, crazy ideas always turn out the best :D

    You probably see this yourself, being able to pump out an incredible number of words, but once we forget about what we expect in a writing piece, it comes together. Your head stops damming up and just spills. My theory is that it's loss of inhibition - the same reason people who spend so much time thinking about what to write and asking, 'What should I write?' rarely find their answer. It's like trying to sleep when all you can think about is how hard it is to sleep. Sure, the question of what to write motivates us, but only when we have a glimpse of the answer. I say, if something seems crazy, forget everything except what you're going to write now, and how it'll feel and look afterward. That's why I wrote so often when I was 12, because I honestly wanted the churn a novel and had never experienced anything that might stop me.
    Also, Angus and Socrates are kick-arse names. You can imagine them blind drunk, stumbling through a 3 am neighbourhood yelling some discourse about life to the houses more than each other.

    Heh, it's like your mind's speaking to you, but in a totally different language. Doesn't life feel like that so often? :p
    I'll take a wild guess ... character names?
     
  16. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I'm going to be using that scene somewhere:)

    LOL I love their names although my gay character being Soc for short is causing my gay bestfriend a great deal of fun, not to mention in his first scene he physically goes into a wardrobe (closet) and comes out with two beers:) I'm not allowed to take it out. I didn't know he was gay when I wrote it:)

    I love the feeling that someone else is doing the writing that I am right now Socrates just for the time I am in front of the computer or have a pad and pen. Unlike Angus who is very like me personality wise, Socrates is what I would like to be and thats more fun. My early acting training is really enriching my writing experience.


    Kind of they are my kids. I'd have called them Matilda, Thor and Ptolemy but my husband wouldn't let me:)
     
  17. BlueWolf
    Offline

    BlueWolf Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Germany
    To have this as a full-length novel would be very difficult to do
     
  18. Sang Hee
    Offline

    Sang Hee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sweden
    Good husband. :D

    Actually does anybody use Thor as a normal first name? Here in Sweden it's not very unusual name but it's spelled Tor and pronounced totally differently but the meaning is the same.
     
  19. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Normally think it would be but its looking like I have enough story and because I have been Angus for 6 months with it being first person present tense, I know him really well:) We'll see I'm just about to post a rework very much first draft stuff though. No pretending to use grammar or get the tense right lol

    LOL well I would have done, still think Gabe could have carried it off:) At 3 his hero is John Barrowman (Torchwood/Dr Who pretty much everything else). He is actually my Angus muse, he's our blue eyed blonde haired odd one out. I know two Icelandic Thors
     
  20. Sang Hee
    Offline

    Sang Hee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Sweden
    Eh, I don't really get it. Could you reformulate, please?
     
  21. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    My middle child is Gabe I wanted call him Thor - he is flamboyant enough to have been a Thor
     
  22. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    "I'm Thor, God of thunder!"

    <silence>

    <louder>"Hear me. I am Thor!"

    "Well no wonder, thwinging that thilly hammer about like that..."
     
  23. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    he's 3 he can do hammer wielding and thunder:) He is currently big blonde and beautiful:) running round in a Disney Princess dress using nunchucks (sp??) and a sword to terrorise the other two

    My eldest is a battle maiden and my youngest a philopsopher they would have suited the names I wanted even my husband agrees now:)
     
  24. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    so, your macho 3-yr-old son is running around in a dress?
     
  25. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    yup lol I am kind lucky he has the dress on:) his usual style is nothing
     

Share This Page