Monday, 28 February 2011

Un-Tangling POVs and Characterization

Aaah, word play:) I went to see Tangled last week. I could say that as a storyteller, I am interested in any example of the craft, particularly in the romance genre, so felt duty bound to attend. But I'll be honest; it's a Disney fairy tale so I am ALL over it.

The good thing about the recent animated films rather than the older, classic Disneys is that they are dynamic enough to appeal to adults as well as children, without stooping to sly, rude humour. Not that I've anything against sly, rude humour, but it's a bit disappointing at times in a PG.

I've never been a big fan of the Rapunzel story. If the witch/whoever climbed up her hair to get in, why didn't she just do that to get out? It seemed a pretty big plot hole to me, and I've never really got past that. I mean I've already assumed she has ridiculously fast growing hair and very strong roots, but no brain either?

But I have faith in Hollywood story-telling, most particularly in cartoons, so I went in with an open mind and OH MY GOSH IT WAS BRILLIANT *gushes*

The Rapunzel-not-climbing-out-herself dilemma is beautifully resolved and the character is both likable and credible. The main source of awesomeness, though, is the hero.
Image source: Disney and here

Yeah, I'm going there. I'm trying to think of another Disney cartoon leading man with facial hair and I just can't. Flynn Rider, for tis he, is the result of much market research into what women like in a hero. And it's paid off, he's cocky but charming, confident but insecure, and, so far as cartoon characters go, pretty damned cute.

So that's...

  • Story - Great!
  • Characters - Great!
  • Humour - Funny!
  • Animation - So very Pretty!


As it happens, all this male-centric characterisation has come at a good time, as I've FINALLY finished re-jigging my first 8000 words for my POV change. See, I wasn't just indulging in a Disney homage:p It's work, really!

It took me a good two weeks to change everything to third person heroine point of view, although I stress that wasn't two weeks SOLID and I have been a busy bunny (Tangled & My Chemical Romance won't watch themselves) but fiiiiiiinally, I'm up to date. I managed to get a few extra thousand words down this weekend, and have finally jumped the 10,000 word hurdle.

Considering it's taken me over a month to get that far, it doesn't bode well with my deadline for the first draft being July. Hopefully though, now the thorny POV and setting issues are sorted, I can steam on with the story proper:)

Monday, 14 February 2011

The POV Problem


This is the point I am currently at with my WiP. Throughout the planning and drafting, I've had a consistent problem with Points Of View. There are two schools of thought for me on third person POVs in fiction and in my mind they are thus:

The Julia Quinn Method:

Pro: As and when needs be, for effect and good story telling, points of view can switch between hero and heroine. Mainly the POV tends to be the heroine's, but the reader gets an interesting glimpse into the thoughts of the hero, which often heightens dramatic effect and provides a well-rounded story.

Con: The story can jump around a bit, and if not handled well, can be confusing. Very difficult to add suspense if you know what every body's thinking.

The Victoria Holt Method:

Pro: Entirely from the heroine's POV, the story unfolds to the reader as it does to her. This can heap on the feeling of drama and climax, and add a great sense of mystery.

Con: She figured that out how? Or alternatively, how stupid is she? If your protagonist has to have it spelled out for her you are in danger of talking down to your reader, but if you don't reveal enough, she's some kind of super sleuth.

So that is my quandary, simplified so my brain doesn't burst. I have been writing using multiple POVs, but I'm having trouble... My hero has a secret that needs to stay secret, but it seems unlikely he'd never think about it during his POV time!

So I'm going to bite the bullet and re-write as single POV. It seems the best way forward, and at least I'm only 8500 words in...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Elinor and Epic Music

A few posts back I threatened to share some character art with you, and finally, here some is! I've done a bit of drawing here and there but nothing I've been particularly happy with, but this I like. There are a few issues with her dress swaggery and such, but nothing that can't be tidied up. The plan is to colour her in Photoshop and, you know, get rid of the lined paper in the background...

She was drawn as my heroine, Elinor, at what appears to be an unusually coy and quiet moment.
But we digress from the writing! This has been a problem recently, what with my almost constant deviations from the work I'm supposed to be doing. This in mind, and to give myself a much-needed kick up the backside, I have set the relatively modest word-count goal of 3K for this weekend.
I should probably get started then...
I leave you with a song I listened to as I walked home through the dark, damp streets of Leeds this evening. I FELT EPIC.