Stealing from my Inbox.

Some other writer friends and I recently took on the topic of number of main characters in books, whether multiple main characters were a good idea in general, or if that was the kind of thing someone really had to have a gift for in or to pull it off.  Here's what I wrote about it.

As for viewpoints, I'm with Phi* and this reader person, if for no other reason, as a reader I am extremely loyal to the first character I identify with. If there are two potential (good guy) heroes, I root for the first one, and I invest myself in him wholly, resenting any intrusion on my hopes for him. I'm like this with pretty much all story-related things; books, movies, actors portraying characters.

As for WRITING viewpoints, multiple or otherwise, it's weird, but I look at it like a video game. A good game doesn't just have the game-play itself (the fighting, strategizing, reaching a goal, etc), or just one storyline. A really pleasurable game has one main storyline or plot and several (sometimes optional, sometimes not) "side quests". Now, the idea of a secondary storyline, or side story, isn't new, but done well, with connective tissue with the main storyline, it works brilliantly for the making of a full-bodied, wholly immersive** tale, which is something you want, either as a player or a reader.

I enjoy writing this way. I enjoy large casts whose stories--either as the main impetus or a sideline--carry over through multiple books. Not everyone in the 'cast' will have a huge amount of screen-time, but their every interaction should do one of two things: make something happen, or make more sense of something that has already happened.

Writing in first person, it's very clear who the 'main" character is, who her love interest is, and the tier-style of importance of each supporting character. Joss isn't only the main character of the Dionadir books, but she is also the filter through whom we understand the books' world and populace.

And that's pretty much how I feel about structure regarding emphasis on characters and viewpoint. It's kind of a shading system; You have your darkest lines, your main character, but you need entire gradients to create an accurate perception of someone or something.

* Phillipa Fioretti, author of The Book of Love, out now, and the upcoming  The Fragment of Dreams.

** Apparently, I've made up my own word, here. Please take note and add it to your dictionaries, digital, mental, and paperback Webster's, if you've got one. *grin*

Sometimes My Brain is Funnier than I Am . . .

 . . . which can be saddening, 'cause you know, I can't use every giggle-worthy thing I come up with, either because they're a little off-color (hi, I'm a grown-up; nice to meet you), or there just really is no play for the remark/comment/scene.  So, that in mind, a few things rattling around in my brain that may or may not make the cut some day.

"Your fault?  Of course it's your fault. It's always your fault. There's a whole museum of things that are your fault. They're adding a Hall of Fault Fame. It's dedicated to the victims of your stupidity."

"It's okay. Every one knows your testicles are pretty much ornamental, anyway. You might as well bronze them and display them on the mantle for all the good they do you."

"Damn, girl! That was something else."
"Yeah, I know. I've sort of been doing it as a hobby for while, but I'm hoping to go for a full Bad-assary PhD in a couple years."

"I rent an apartment in what could arguably be described as Hell and you what--want to see me safely inside?"

Personal Note: A hard-core (possibly old lady-ish) pet peeve of mine is people breaking before they put on they're turn signal.  Seriously, how hard is it to tell yourself to flick on your signal a couple seconds before you put your foot on the break. I don't care what your DMV pamphlet says; the turn signal isn't so much about which way you're going as it is to tell the people behind you, "Hey, I'm going to slow down a lot here in a second, and I'm letting you know ahead of time because neither of us wants your hood shoved into my trunk."

My Subdued's a Little Suped up, Lately.

So, one of the things about living with three young sons, a gamer husband, and a retarded, head-thumping-into-walls-boy-cat is the rarity of silence. You know, the kind in which one can actually hear her keys clacking away while she types. Or the fridge humming along. With all the noise being of the white variety.

Authoress posed a question about seasons impacting an individual's writing productivity, and like a light-bulb, my brain dinged for a second, because I realised, at that moment as I read her post, my house was silent. The eldest boys are at school, and the youngest is well into nap time. Even the Daddy-Man is off running macho-esque errands, and Fable is . . . well, he's um, indulging himself in some personal (but silent!) hygiene.

Along with the quiet, it occurred to me I'm so used to, so programmed for Amethyst-eclipsing sounds 98 per cent of my waking hours, I sort of react to silence as a wind-up clock that has lost its twist. Even while I folded laundry, I watched a television show, because . . . well, aside from it being a good show and wanting to know what happens next, I didn't know, nor did I suspect it was because my subconscious knew I needed the sound--that bit of brain distraction--to tell the rest of me it was still Time to Get Stuff Done.  As soon as my laundry was folded and the show finished, I sat still for a while, kind of at a loss of what to do next. Trust me, there's always something to do next. Did I mention I live with five males? Yeah.

The silence had kind of paralyzed me.  This may shed some light on why my Dionadir trilogy playlist already has about 200 songs in it, and I add more regularly.  So, my thing, my productive thing, it's not so much seasonal, or time-related, but aural.

And oh, look. The Youngest just woke up and has turned on Curious George.  Guess it's time to achieve today's goal of liberating The Youngest's floor from the carpet of toys oppressing it.

Can I just say, OMDoctor!