1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Of "The Lovers", who to pick as the true main character...

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by Wreybies, Dec 16, 2013.

    @obsidian_cicatrix, you've been the most involved in helping me hash out my story here in the forum, so I seek an opinion from you and from anyone else who may have read my excerpts so far. As the reader, were the choice to fall to you of who is the main character, the main focus, the person through whose eyes we most look while participating in the story, would your preference be Brena or Devin? Don't feel restrained by the idea that it's an opinion and you wouldn't wish to sway me and all that.
     
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  2. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    This'll be a bit brief as I'm heading out to my works Xmas do. I've given the matter some thought already. From what I've read, I like them both but for different reasons. Most of my interest in Brena comes from his family situation. Deavon, on the other hand interests me because he hasn't had the upbringing Brena has.

    Personally, I'd like it to be Deavon, simply because I think his viewpoint is more fascinating for me. The whole 'fish out of water' element appeals. I think seeing the majority through his POV would be more compelling than the other way around.

    That's just my gut feeling on what I've read so far. Brena already fascinates me—I'd like to see more of him from Deavon's point of view. He's more of an everyman despite his 'talent.' Access to his thoughts would make me feel more like I was in situ than the other way around.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, @obsidian_cicatrix. Strangely, the question comes from my development of Amila. As I started reworking the relationship of Devin and Brena, and also wanting to bring Amila's throughline into fuller fruition, I came to realize that having painted Amila as a simple country lass fetching pails of water and trays of food is wrong. If she's what we call in Spanish the ama de llaves, then that's not who she would be at all. She would be a bright, serious, ambitious girl. Petla wouldn't allow a simpering bunny in that role. Petla would chose someone who is unfailing and always has in hand what is about to be asked for. That's who Amila is. I also want Amila to be Brena's confidant, his gal-pal. I want them to be secret best best friends. I want Amila to be devoted to Brena for his kindness to her and for his appreciation of the pride she takes in performing her duties to perfection. I want her to run away with him when Brena decides to follow Devin. She sees it as her duty - in an extended fashion, out from Lady Petla - to watch out for Brena, to protect him.

    All of this made me wonder if my focus should not be on them. But to the flip side, Devin has his counterpart as well, his brother William, who serves as a powerful wheel in the plot vehicle. So, there's been a lot of *do the little scales gesture with your hands* these past few days.

    And if I haven't mentioned it enough, you've helped me greatly with my story. ;) I'm in your debt.
     
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  4. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    One of the things I love about the back and forth is that it's like looking in through a window on your creative process. Recently I've been doing much weighing up and down myself, and not just over the little things—major things. (Considering whether I'd benefit from a named narrator for one. Still not sure about it. Problem is, now that I've considered the possibility, the damn idea just won't shift.)

    Will Amila and William have their own POV? In my head I kinda read the original question as: Which?—One or other? That was why I plumped for Devin. But, having read your response, I see that either of these two characters can provide the extra insight, and that it needn't be explored purely from Devin's perspective alone.
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh yes, they all get their time with us on their shoulder. You may have seen me post a thread recently, bemoaning a good 4k of material that now needs to be chucked; all of it was centered on Amila. She just isn't that person anymore. The scene was a more fleshed out version of the reveal she gives to Devin about the "plans" for him you read in the original short story. That scene just can't happen that way anymore. Firstly, it needs to be from Amila's POV. Secondly, she would never just gush all that info at Devin, and thirdly, it comes WAY too soon in the story-line. If Devin were to know all of that, having just met Brena days before, logic would dictate that he'd be making for the door and with a quickness, THE END. LOL :)

    The fact that Amila overhears all of this has now become my entry point into showing her relationship with Brena. It gives her a reason to help him, and to begrudgingly accept the pretty boy in Brena's bed, though she is ever weary of him.
     
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  6. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I like the sound of that. She might not be the same person anymore but her new incarnation serves your purpose so much better.

    I did read that post. I really felt for you as I've been there, done that, many more times than I care to count. My remnant folder is full to bursting with bits and pieces that needed shaved away when I realised my plot and characters had outgrown them. Still, it's never truly a waste, is it?

    I don't know about you, but I usually end up suffering something akin to grief. For the first couple of days after editing a huge chunk out, the sense of loss is palpable, but as soon as I see what its removal has done to the story as a whole, I feel so much better about it. ;)
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I love this thread. It's a good example of what writers 'do' during the writing process, to make sure their story resonates properly. This illustrates the difference between a story idea and the reality it eventually becomes, after it's been written. Good luck to both of you.

    I can relate to that, for sure. I've probably edited out nearly half of my original story, and am still hacking out large chunks (and chapters) which were fun to write, but stalled the story. Aaargh. And I loved these chapters! But they gotta go...
     
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  8. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Ta, Jan.

    I don't know how others feel, but I personally can't work in a vacuum. I suspect when I get done with my first draft, it will be a testament to all those whose work and exploration into it I have read, but also those who have read mine. I think it's safe to say my initial considerations have been swept aside. You helped me understand that I can write well enough to put a scene together which gave me a little confidence and naturally led me to question exactly how one goes about putting it all together.

    It's great for me to see that writers with more experience than I've got question as much as I do. My storyline and plot come about organically. It seems it's not something I can force. I wind my characters up and watch them go. Only then can I envisage where it's all heading and how I'm going to pitch it to the reader.

    I can especially relate to Wrey's Amila as, despite having made quite an impact on me when I first read her, she wasn't what his story required and so he re-imagined her. That's just what I found I had to do with Morys Obelyn. (One of my MC's adoptive father.) Nearly broke my heart to do it, as he was fleshed out in my head even more than my two MC's but he needed to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    What is becoming obvious to me now, is that I can use a redemptive arc that will, in fact, bring his character full circle to how I originally envisaged him, and will place him firmly at the centre of the action when the climax comes. That's what I originally wanted but couldn't quite connect the dots. Strange how these things come about.

    When I see Wrey feeling his way, I can utterly relate. Reading the work of others is all very well, but I want more than an excerpt to peruse. It seems the working practices do more to stimulate my own creavity and also perhaps the belief that I shouldn't get so discouraged when I feel I'm struggling. Perhaps a better way for me to view my own situation is to quit seeing it as that—struggling. That's really not what is happening. I'm simply exploring my options and getting a feel for what works best. Perhaps, with more time and experience under my belt the ideas will come more easily, but for now I'm getting a lot of enjoyment from sounding it all out.

    Every question that gets raised causes me to question aspects of my own writing. I need this.
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think sounding things out, saying them, gelling the thoughts, is a deeply important part of the whole process. Just as you said, working in a vacuum makes everything feel vaporous, tenuous and unreal. Sometimes just saying the words to/at someone else helps you make decisions and come to realizations. Doors open doors open doors. :) I've decided that I am neither a planner nor a pantser. I'm a plantser. I need some kind of deeper structure to follow, but I'm learning to be a little less headstrong in what I think I know about my story. Taking Amila in the direction she now goes, brings her in Petla's presence, both in the actual plot-line and in the deeper idea of who these two women are in my story. They each (and all of them) start to become less monolithic in my mind and more organic. Their bones begin to sheath themselves in flesh and blood, trousers, skirts and blouses. :)
     
  10. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Ah... yet more jargon I'm unfamiliar with. Imagine that. 'Pantser?' As in, 'fly by the seat of?'

    I think I initially believed myself to be a planner and have come to the conclusion I'm not. There's definitely some pantsing (? ;)) going on. A lot, if I'm honest. But the plot dots are connected, the motivations are starting to appear solid. I'm far further on in broad terms than when I was trying to rigidly follow a preconceived storyline and trying to mould my characters/plot points to fit. I even have three endings in mind. I'm not committing myself until I get to the climax. I'm going to take a break, a couple of months or so, read it from the start, and by that time I should have a more objective feel for the overall tone. I do think ahead to a degree, but only as much as I feel I need to, for sake of pacing, foreshadowing and the like. Obviously, the Epilogue will be wholly reliant on the outcome of the climax, so it'll be the very last.

    I must be a bit of both too, but my planning is a bit like scaffolding. It's there to help me reach the bits a need to, but I have absolutely no problem taking it down and throwing it back up again if it starts looking a bit wobbly.
     

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