So, I seem to be having a thing for one word titles for my blog--last week forks, this week steps...next week, who knows?
But many things have gotten me thinking about steps, both in my writing career and in story telling.
For my writing career: building a writing career is a long, slow, oft times painful, process. If you are going traditional you have the queries, pitches, and then if you get an agent, more queries (from the agent to publishers this time), more pain, fear, worry, etc. If you're going indie, it's a long slow process to get all the stuff done (or hire the right people to do so) to get your book in the best possible shape. Then another loooooong slow haul while it starts to be seen.
But there are steps. When I first started taking my writing seriously, (been writing way longer than that ;)) I started visualizing a ladder. I'd fling myself up a few rungs (agent requests, positive rejections, etc ;)), then slide down a rung or too. But I still had passed that previous rung. I'd accomplished the next goal and I wasn't sliding back. I still think that way now. I know things like rankings, book sales, etc, fluctuate, especially for us Indie folks who don't get the same exposure trad authors do. But each time something goes up, it's another rung up the ladder. I'll slide back down, but not as far. :)
Our characters have steps as well. I'd say one thing that pulls me out of a story is when a character jumps from skillset/point/attitude A to F in too short of a span of time. These characters aren't real people (okay, except for Garbage Blossom who is throwing orange seeds at me as I type and Vaslisha who has a knife at my throat ;) but they need to behave in a realistic manner.
Characters change, that's sort of the point of most stories. A character, or characters, makes a journey of some sort (internal, external, sideways, whatever) where they change in someway that has emotional resonance to the reader. But that change has to be something the reader believes in, even if it's something like learning to handle magic or new telepathic skills.
There have to be steps. A reveal as the person changes and those around them do as well. In a way characters have ladders too.
Have a great week! OH! I've been interviewed-go check it out https://smartgirlslovesfr.com/2016/06/14/author-interview-maria-andreas/#comment-10707
I like your description of climbing the publishing ladder. It's so true. Though we may slide back, we still make progress. It's a lot like one of my mantras: One step at a time. Off to go check out your interview! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you! We have to always remind ourselves that we are moving forward, even when it feels like we're not :).Delete
Marie- at day job!
Sometimes the top of that ladder seems so far away, so it's best to approach it one rung at a time. Nice analogy with character arcs.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Looking at the rung ahead, instead of the entire massive thing, really helps me :).Delete