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Notes to myself
The Other Side of the Story (on plotting and character)
2012-10-03: READING ASSIGNMENTS: West Point and what military officers learn: John T. Read, Scribd, How they teach at West Point, Thought Leaders, Kevin Carringer.
SHEET: Novel 1: Conclusion
Near the end:
Jaff: "Come on, dummy! You're wasting ammunition! Grab your gun and get your ass back in here!"
Kyron: "How about you get back in here and do your damn job instead of running away?"
Jaff: "Did you just call me a coward, you insufferable snot?"
Novels on Emmegan
Kyron has been accepting of most cultures on Emmegan, and at first he thinks the ephemeralists (living in elaborate villages, built inside artificial caves of concrete, in tiers) are the most like the Targannon — but then he finds himself quarreling with some of them over the differences. Jaff looks on, amused.
ONGOING THEME: Kyron and Jaff each started out with an oversimplified view of the world, and each comes to realize that his view of the world is incomplete. (Does Ganna share in this? Or is she a little older than the two men? Maybe it just isn’t really her story, so she doesn’t have a character arc as involved as Kyron and Jaff’s arcs. She’s here mainly to give an additional perspective on the events and background of the story.)
Kyron says that he wants to help some of the people oppressed by gangsters and the lawless. He says that he can’t just live his comfortable life as a seafood farmer, knowing that so many others are so much less lucky and that he’s not helping them out. He remembers the faces of the people in the various cities that he and Jaff have been through — faces filled with pain and fear and sorrow. He wants to help them live their own lives, even if he doesn’t always understand what those lives consist of. He wants to become an equalizer.
====== New stuff #2 ======
====== prompts.docx ======
For background and character exploration: Write an essay, or at least take notes, on each of a number of characters and places. Go through each of your personality-type lists and come up with various characters; they may be major characters with their own goals worth writing about, or they may just be a part of the background in the stories about characters who _do_ struggle.
====== muses.docx ======
Just because I ought to write about these things or at least look at them more closely.
====== craft.docx ======
* Time your dialogue tags. If the conversation is going rapidly, with one person almost cutting the other off, drop the “he said” tags if it’s clear who’s speaking. If the conversation is slower, with characters stopping to think for a moment, use the tags more freely; insert a tag (or a note about the viewpoint character’s thought) where a pause (or a lull) naturally occurs in the conversation.
* Do not end a novel with a cliffhanger. Each novel in a series should be complete; it represents a complete cycle: the main character decides on a goal, goes through hell, and either succeeds or fails. The series is a chain of these cycles; the goals are connected.
* Truth in fiction is not facts, but the pattern that we perceive the facts revealing, some general principles about human nature or the world we live in. But that little word “we” sounds arrogant to me; it implies that everybody sees the same truths. But people are different. Characters are different. Some truths are indisputable to everyone once they are pointed out, yet even then, people don’t always assign the same importance or primacy to these truths. Two people may hold two truths or principles to be indisputable and still disagree about which takes precedence if they come into conflict. Related to this is my idea that, if themes arise from the _characters’_ relations to the universe and how they cope with the complexities of their lives, then the theme might be different depending on which character has the viewpoint right now. A novel still requires a certain unity, of course, so maybe the viewpoint themes will still belong in the same box, so to speak, even as they may sometimes conflict with one another.
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