Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stylish, me?

If you'd ask me I would've said I'm anything but stylish. I'm the girl who grabs a pair of jeans in the morning and the closest shirt available. Then I tie my hair in a ponytail and voila! Finished! If my sis wasn't in costume designing, I would've no idea what style even was.

But apparently if you ask Jen (from Jen's Bookshelf), Alexe, SB at Writing the Other or Melody from The Tales of Sirius the Dragon, I'm stylish enough to merit an award. Heck, it seems Melody said as much a month ago and I just heard about it. Apparently, you're among those blogs I'm certain I follow and it turns out I don't? Mistake rectified!

And to the four of you? Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

 Here's what I'm supposed to do with this:
* Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award 
*  List seven things about yourself
*  Pass the award on to 15 recently discovered bloggers

Here are the seven things about me!
1. According to my iTunes, I have listened "Vertige" from Karkwa (a group from Quebec) 1408 times. I still love it. Very much.  Sadly I can't find it on youtube. If you are curious, this is another of their song "Echapper au sort".

2. I cry every time I watch Muffassa die in the Lion King. It doesn't stop me from cheering on Scar at the end.
3. I need a hour of bed laziness before I get up. Otherwise my mind's all over the place (even more so than usual)
4. I had a hamster named after the bacteria family including meningitis and gonorrhoea.
5. I'm an accent sponge. If I speak more than a hour with someone I caught his expressions and accent.
6. When I was twelve I still wouldn't answer the phone. It scared me. I'm still not a big fan today.
7. There's nothing I love more than stepping on the ice bordering the street in spring and hearing it break. The sound is pure joy to my hear.

And, far more importantly, here are some incredible bloggers you ought to visit! Some already received the award, but they deserve it again (and again).

Sommer from Tell Great Stories, because she's sweet, constructive and wildly imaginative. Also, I heart the header. 

Margo from Urban Psychopomp, for all the fantastic advice on writing and the deep reflections on what it means to be a writer.

SB, at Writing the Other – All shiny and new, and already I can't stop checking back. Great topics, great advice and a post in favour of haggis. What's not to like?

Hillary at Impudent Hatchlings, for the short, funny and pertinent posts, all the time. 

Bookshelf Muse, for the incredible thesaurus entries (everything else, too!)

Jen, for being fantastic and funny all the time. 
Kevin Hearne at Writer's Grove, for the great ambiance on his blog and the posts on what it's like to be published. 

Susan at Ink Spells, for inspired posts on writing for kids, and just life in general.

Lydia Kang at The Word is my Oyster, for the awesome humour and lovely Medical Mondays posts.

Mia at My Literary Jam and Toast, for the eternal funnies, the zombies and the great diagram.

Adam Heine at Author's Echo for the continuous stream of great tips and constructive post. Also, check out the one on Worldbuilding tip!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kindle Kindle Little Star

It has arrived! I did not expect the new baby for another week, yet there was the package, waiting for my return home tonight.

I am pleased. As in, super pleased.

Also, I haven't announced it anywhere, but I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This means I will be posting every day of the week safe for Sunday, and each day will belong to a letter of the alphabet.

Fun will be had. If I'm not too distracted by shiny new Kindle.

Over and out! You'll all get a proper post tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

35,000 Words, MarchisBIC, Goodbye Captcha

Yesterday I hit the 35,000 words mark on White Echoes. Whoop! Progress.

What's that you're saying? I was supposed to finish the month at 50,000 words? Nonsense! 

 The truth is that yes, indeed, I will fail at my March is Butt-in-Chair Month Challenge. That's okay. I will still have made more progress than I would otherwise have, and that's the whole point. I still write every day. I work on this story. I plan for April's challenge. I study (exams. Those things I wish I didn't have).

I've realised that White Echoes first draft will end shorter than expected. 50,000 words was a goal that'd bring me to the midway point. When I look at my outline, however... I've already crossed it. There are a few parts (*cough* the whole first 10k *cough*) that need to be revised and lengthened, but I now doubt the novel will go over 80,000 words.

So the new, realistic goal? Make 40,000 words before Thursday, midnight.

One last thing! I've heard it said that Blogger's new spam filter is efficient and makes the word verification unnecessary. As I've always found the thing mildly annoying, I'm giving a try to removing it. We'll see if the filter is as good as they say.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Strangest Legends

Yesterday I did a little research for another novel idea. (yes, yes. Another one.) I haven't found anything truly inspiring yet, but I did get my hands on one of the weirdest legends I've ever read.

I thought I'd share. It made me laugh.

The legend is taken from . This is their text, so if you want to read it on its original page, here is the link.

Nun'yunu'wi, the Stone Man

Once when all the people of the settlement were out in the mountains on a great hunt one man who had gone on ahead climbed to the top of a high ridge and found a large river on the other side.

While he was looking across he saw an old man walking about on the opposite ridge, with a cane that seemed to be made of some bright, shining rock. The hunter watched and saw that every little while the old man would point his cane in a certain direction, then draw it back and smell the end of it. At last he pointed it in the direction of the hunting camp on the other side of the mountain, and this time when he drew back the staff he sniffed it several times as if it smelled very good, and then started along the ridge straight for the camp.

He moved very slowly, with the help of the cane, until he reached the end of the ridge, when he threw the cane out into the air and it became a bridge of shining rock stretching across the river. After he had crossed over upon the bridge it became a cane again, and the old man picked it up and started over the mountain toward the camp.

The hunter was frightened, and felt sure that it meant mischief, so he hurried on down the mountain and took the shortest trail back to the camp to get there before the old man. When he got there and told his story the medicine- man said the old man was a wicked cannibal monster called Nun'yunu'wi, "Dressed in Stone," who lived in that part of the country, and was always going about the mountains looking for some hunter to kill and eat. It was very hard to escape from him, because his stick guided him like a dog, and it was nearly as hard to kill him, because his whole body was covered with a skin of solid rock.

If he came he would kill and eat them all, and there was only one way to save themselves. He could not bear to look upon a menstrual woman, and if they could find seven menstrual women to stand in the path as he came along the sight would kill him.

So they asked among all the women, and found seven who were sick in that way, and with one of them it had just begun. By the order of the medicine- man they stripped themselves and stood along the path where the old man would come. Soon they heard Nun'yunu'wi coming through the woods, feeling his way with his stone cane.

He came along the trail to where the first woman was standing, and as soon as he saw her he started and cried out: "Yu! my grandchild; you are in a very bad state!" He hurried past her, but in a moment he met the next woman, and cried out again: "Yu! my child; you are in a terrible way," and hurried past her, but now he was vomiting blood.

He hurried on and met the third and the fourth and the fifth woman, but with each one that he saw his step grew weaker until when he came to the last one, with whom the sickness had just begun, the blood poured from his mouth and he fell down on the trail.

Then the medicine-man drove seven sour-wood stakes through his body and pinned him to the ground, and when night came they piled great logs over him and set fire to them, and all the people gathered around to see. Nun'yunu'wi was a great ada'wehï and knew many secrets, and now as the fire came close to him he began to talk, and told them the medicine for all kinds of sickness.

At midnight he began to sing, and sang the hunting songs for calling up the bear and the deer and all the animals of the woods and mountains. As the blaze grew hotter his voice sank low and lower, until at last when daylight came, the logs were a heap of white ashes and the voice was still.

Then the medicine-man told them to rake off the ashes, and where the body had lain they found only a large lump of red wâ'dï paint and a magic u'lûñsû'ti stone. He kept the stone for himself, and calling the people around him he painted them, on face and breast, with the red wâ'dï, and whatever each person prayed for while the painting was being done-whether for hunting success, for working skill, or for a long life-that gift was his.
Do you know any strange legends? Funny ones? Share them!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Looking Back At the Travelled Road

The other day I looked at a text from a fellow writer. I don't often critique others yet, as I feel I've got a long way to go. When I do give advice, it's with a heads-up of where I believe I am at in my learning curve.

Now this is going to sound mean, and it's not meant that way at all. But looking at her text? I knew how far along I'd come.

This is very satisfying.

It's always easier to see mistakes in other's text, but this was something else. I could see traces of where I was at about a year ago. Basic mistakes I no longer do.

I'm afraid there's little else to this post but the satisfaction of looking back at the road, and smiling at how far I've come (nevermind how far I still have to go). 

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The True Magic is Inside Us

Have you ever stared at the starred sky and fell like a small dot in a large universe? A mere speck in the cycle of life?

Most of us have, at one point, felt the strange aloofness that comes with the realisation we're just one human being in a big scheme, and that all perspective kept, we're not so important after all. There's something special to the knowledge that there are billions of other planets out there and that we'll never really know what they're made of or if there's anything living on them. The stars and the universe are, without a doubt, a source of human wonder.

To me, however, the real magic is far closer.

It's in ourselves. In every of our cells. In the million of different proteins. In the amazing diversity you can achieve with 30,000 genes.

Just as the universe's real size is beyond our comprehension, so is the human body's complexity.

Studying biochemistry has taught me that nature's ingeniosity knows no bound. Every little process is regulated with chirurgical precision. Every millisecond, hundreds of thousands of chemical chain reactions happen. And as you read this, hundreds of small electrical currents run along you neurons, at a precise voltage to keep the signal at the right level, and each of them carries information for your brain or orders for your muscles.

Human physiology is a delicate but masterful balance. Our life depends on it and yet, everything happens without us noticing.

Every time I stop to consider the hidden beauty of our body, my mind is blown. It is, to my sense, real-life magic.

For some spacy mind-blowing, you can listen to Hank Green:

EDIT: Somehow xkcd managed to post something related to this on the following day. Check it out, it's hilarious.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Experiencing Life at its Fullest

(Would you believe this is my 100th post? It feels weird!)

Writers, I believe, have a special way of experiencing life. I, at least, no longer blitz through it without paying attention. Ever since I put the first word on a page and attempted to describe a scene, I discovered a new facet of life.

I had to see, smell, taste and touch everything. It's as if someone turned up my perception button one day. I have to feel the world and understand it.

Everything can be material. People talking on the bus. A strange customer at my grocery. The rich smell of fresh croissants. The super sweet candies I eat by the dozens on Thursday evenings. The foul smell of sulfur in my labs. There are no exceptions.

I realised this more fully last weekend, as I hiked through a forest with snowshoes. It's winter and most birds are gone. The forest was silent safe for our steps. The day was hot and snow melted, falling from the branches and to the ground. I stopped to listen. My boyfriend was a bit confused at first but when I motionned for him not to talk, he knew right away. I was doing this writer thing.

And then in the middle of a winter forest, I heard the strangest of sound. A fire crackling. It was the melted snow from the trees touching the still cold ground. Admist the tall pine, with not a human being in sight besides of us, it was magic.

I recorded this in a little part of my brain, which stores peculiar experiences for future descriptions. I'm not sure I would have stopped to listen four years ago.

When we started walking again, the sound of our snowshoes crushing the snow covered the crackling. I knew it was there, however, and I was glad I'd stopped.

The writer in me did it. I never loved him more.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Empathy For the Characters

Last Tuesday I went to the theatre, to see the newest of Wajdi Mouawad's play. You probably don't know who that is and because I'm a big fan, I will tell you. He is the playwright behind Incendies, which this year was Canada's runner up for the Foreign Movie Oscar. It's a fantastic movie. Get your hands on it, if you can!

As much as I love Mouawad's work, something about his latest baby didn't work for me. Thankfully, I could tell what was wrong right away.

I never sympathised about his main character. I liked the two secondary ones, but their emotional stakes in the story aren't as high. They aren't driving it.

Don't make this mistake. If your readers don't identify to the MC on some level, they won't care. And then you might have the best story in the world, it won't matter.

Here are a few ways to make the connection between your reader and your character. There are more in James Scott Bell's Plot and Structure, by the way!

1. Identification
Identification is an easy one, but if your MC isn't human, it's an important one. What about him makes him like most people? He probably has flaws, dreams and fears that are shared by a lot of human beings. Find these elements and highlight them early on (show them). Prove your character is human despite all his differences and you have reader identification.

2. Sympathy
There are a lot of ways to achieve sympathy for your character. Put her through hardships. Make her vulnerable. Put something she loves in jeopardy. Readers will cheer for someone in difficulty and this is a good way to make an early connection.

3. Inner Conflict
Characters who are certain of themselves, who have no doubts and no fears, aren't that interesting. We're not like that. We question everything we do. Bring your character's inner conflicts to the surface and we'll feel for your character.

There are more ways to get your readers to like your character, of course. Choose whichever you want, but make sure you use one.

Reader empathy will keep them reading.

And happy spring everyone! There's still snow everywhere on the ground here. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Discipline and Me are the Best Friends (Or Not)

Replace "drawing dinosaurs" with "play SimCity 4" and you have me, this week. In fact, I am at the "Don't do any of the stuff" stage.

This image, by the way, is taken from this post of Hyperbole and a Half, one of the most hilarious blogs out there. If you haven't read it already (I see it linked often), you should check the post on grammar mistakes on the internet. It usually makes me laugh so much my belly hurts.

I'm impressed by how little I've accomplished this week, despite feeling overwhelmed by all I have to do. I haven't written a single word since I returned from my weekend's trip.

Does this mean I've given up? Of course not. Over the weekend I should go through the "Become overwhelmed by guilt for my total lack of responsability" and start the machine.

Twelve days left. This is far from over!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Event Story

**The ideas here come from Orson Scott Card in How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. This is my take on them.**

Last but certainly not least is the Event Story. In an event story, something is amiss with the order of the universe. It can be pretty much anything. The Lord of the Rings is the reappearance of an ancient and powerful evil. Hamlet's disruption is the assassination of the king. The story ends either when a new order is established or when things return to the old one.

White Echoes is such an Event Story. The disruption is the conspiracy. The story is about bringing those responsible for it to justice. It's about revealing their actions to the world. 

It's important to note that narration-wise, the Event Story doesn't start with the disruption. It starts when the main character comes in contact with it. The Lord of the Rings starts when Frodo learns about the ring's power (or close enough). Hamlet doesn't start with the assassination, but with Hamlet learning from the ghost that his uncle is behind his father's death. 

Most fantasy stories fall under this category. Most of my project do. It's a flexible structure and while you might not have a Milieu story, I believe the event one allows you to show this setting you built with so much care through this disruption.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Character Story

**The ideas here come from Orson Scott Card in How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. This is my take on them.**

Aah, Character. How often have we been asked, as writers, if we're more plot-driven or character-driven? I'm of the opinion a character should always drive the plot – that is, he should be proactive. This doesn't mean he consciously chose to be a part of the events. A character might be proactive if he takes a few actions and, before he knows it, he's in a big mess. This is what happens to Richard Mayhew in Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. He stops to save a dirty, bleeding girl on the street, and is irremediably pulled into the story.

In a Character Story, however, the character is the plot. A character story will be about a character's attempt to change himself or his relation to others. He might be discontent with his current role in the family or close neighbourhood. He might hate what he's become and try to change himself.

The character story starts when your main character decides to make these changes and ends either in his success or failure. A father who attempts to reconcile with his son after a decade is a character story. He might succeed and grow closer to his son, or his attempts might be constantly rebuffed until he abandons them.

My February Shiny Idea, Fezim Aulm, is a Character Story. It begins with the MC’s admittance in a wizard asylum and his decision to ‘fix himself’ as much as he can, and it ends with his acceptance that while he might change, he can never make up for his past actions. There is a lot happening, but my story structure milestones revolve around his character evolution and, in planning my novel, I often relied on James Scott Bell’s character layers.

While I find the Character Story structure is rarer in fantasy as the main one, it's quite often there as a subplot. After all, events of the magnitude of what your throw at your characters should change them. That's the whole fun of it!

The point of a Character Story is this change. The character arc doesn't support the main plot. It is the main plot. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Some Things Never Change

I did it again.

The oldest reader might remember when, way back in October, I explained how hard it was for me to work consistently on a single project. I'm not loyal is how I put it. I don't know why. Perhaps my brain isn't wired to spend too much time on one thing. The plan at the moment was to work alternatively on Edingher and White Echoes.

Surely, I could stick with two ideas, right?

Good one, that. This week I was reminded of how I loved Edingher's setting. Then, one night I woke from a dream with a brand new take on City of Spires, the only draft I ever edited. Not to mention February's new idea, with Fezim, which is the subject of my Script Frenzy and keeps haunting me. Four ideas. And I'm not even halfway through White Echoes' first draft.

I'm thrilled I have so many characters and plots dancing in my head. I am. But one has to wonder how I'll ever finish anything if I hope between four projects. I can't spend my life writing first drafts. It's not exactly the best way to learn to tighten my prose.

So here it is. Between the four projects, my writing energy went down. I managed to maintain the pace and even get ahead... until yesterday. I'll have to fight hard starting next Tuesday (no way I'll get a lot down until then) to catch up with the lateness.

March is fighting back hard, throwing back my old enemies at me, but I haven't lost the fight yet.

Oh, and tune in next week for the two last MICE story structure, Character and Event!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Idea Story

**The ideas here come from Orson Scott Card in How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. This is my take on them.**

More than any other, the Idea Story raises a single question. Here, however, it is not the reader that asks this question, it's the character.

Most mystery novels follow this structure. The main character, the detective, seeks to discover who killed the victim. The story begins with a murder and ends when the culprit is found.

Mysteries aren't the only one with this structure, however. A story in which a character is trying to uncover the downfall of a powerful civilisation is an idea story. 2001: A Space Odyssey is an idea story. The question raised is "Who buried this monolith and why is it emitting a radio signal?"

If White Echoes focused on discovering the conspiracy, it'd be an idea story. Rather than giving my main character the information and watch him act upon it, I would bring him to make these crucial discoveries. It would begin with the first hint of a second layer to the events and the climax would be the full understanding of what happened.

With an idea story, you want to introduce the mystery early on. An interesting character and an intriguing world will enhance your novel, but your main concern is this question raised and your structure will revolve around finding an answer. You cannot end the story without that answer.

Again, if any of you follow this structure, raise your hands! I rather enjoy learning more about your respective WIP. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Milieu Story

**The ideas here come from Orson Scott Card in How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. This is my take on them.**

The milieu story is about the setting. It's the world surrounding your character, the weather, the family, the society, the pantheon. Everything you bring out during world building. These stories are often about travellers stuck in a distant land. Can the character return home safely? Will he choose to live in this new place?

A lot of fantasy is in this category. Any story about a character going through a portal and discovering a wild, strange land is a milieu story. Say hi to Alice in Wonderland, everyone. Unless I'm mistaken, Narnia also falls into this category.

If your main concern is the discovery of a world (through a series of other events, of course), then you are writing a milieu story. Chances are, your POV character is the stranger, who'll experience the wonders of your setting at the same time as your reader.

Other examples given by Orson Scott Cards are Gulliver's Travels and Shogun.

My original ideas for Edingher were of a milieu story. Most of the plotline happened at sea or on a small archipelago, whose culture and magic differed from everything the MC had seen before. There is still some of this discovery plotline in Edingher, but it now serves another type of story.

I'm curious, is anyone writing a milieu story? Can you think of any others?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Choosing a Beginning and an End

The network of ideas that make a story is a complex web that sometimes reaches far back in time. When you examine everything that leads to your novel's events – the entirety of a story – it's easy to lose track of what the actual narration should be.

White Echoes, for example, is Henry's fight to bring to light a conspiracy that led to the death of thousands civilians, a decade ago. We're already ten years back into time. But what about the events that led to this conspiracy? They involve a war, which is another decade (or about) earlier, in which the villains' brother dies. But even that isn't enough. This death wouldn't bring about the same consequences had my two villains been different people. The events that shape their personality are part of this novel, too.

It's what is called backstory.

So where to start? Where to end? It all depends on what you want this story to be about. There is one constant, however: you should raise a question at the beginning, and only end your novel when it is answered.

I made White Echoes about Henry's struggle. The question is "Can Henry Schmitt uncover the conspiracy?" His decision to try comes at the start(ish) of the story. It's my First Plot Point. Readers will expect to know of his success or failure by the end.

If I'd wanted to make the novel about the villains, the beginning would feature scenes of their youth. I'd establish their characters and kick the action proper with the brother's death. The question raised is different (it'd be related to their goal in all this) and thus, the answer must be, too.

The type of question you raise – the conflict you'll want to resolve – will be bring about a different type of story. Orson Scott Card outlines four types in How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, the MICE – Milieu, Idea, Character, Event.

Any story will have more than one of these elements, and I think it should have all of them to some degree. One, however, will predominate and determine what type of question you need to answer before the end.

The MICE story structures are what will occupy most of the next two weeks. Hope you find it interesting!

Friday, March 4, 2011

20,000 Words and a Good (but difficult) Start

Monday I declared I would make of March my Butt-in-Chair month. I wanted to get to 50,000 words by the end of the month, which involved a thousand a day.

So far, so good.

The first days it was horribly hard to get through my scenes. Not only had I lost the rhythm of my novel, but I was entering a series of high-tension scenes. The kind that are easier to write when your so full of your novel you can hardly think of anything else. I love when that happens. I wish it had earlier this week, too!

What do I do when I have to fight for every word? When I'm uncertain about what my characters should say and do? I power through. Write something. Move on. Most of the time I have an idea but I'm uncertain how to phrase it. This week was different. I realised my idea was wrong and did not know how to replace it.

What then? I put music that inspires me. I grabbed a piece of paper. On each side of it I put the two characters in the scene. I scribbled what each of them felt. I wrote dialogue they'd think but never say. I poured out a few hundred words in first person for each of them. I played around with this scene and their head. 

Half a hour later, with the same track still playing in the background, I knew where to go. The words didn't come out easily, but they were the right words. They said what had to be said, not what I thought to say at first. I expect the first edit will take them away, but the idea will remain.

I now stand at 20,000 words. I'm further along the story than expected at this point, but as I find my beat again, my scenes get longer. The pacing gets better. Starting again was hard, but I have my cruising speed. And everything is about to go BOOM! Fun times ahead!

(For the record, I realised I needed more than one thousand a day. I can't write on most Saturdays, and only a bit on Sundays. I'm not nervous about it. I expect my daily number to increase as I really get into the story.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Neglecting the Descriptions

There's one thing all my first drafts have in common: they're lacking in descriptions.

 I don't do it on purpose. In first drafts I just write on. I try to stick to the plan and jump from one scene to another. Unless I'm feeling inspired, I don't stop for the descriptions. Or, well, I give the basic hints of what the place is like and jump as quickly to the dialogue.

The advantages
I doubt overdescription will ever be a problem for me. Or at least, not a recurring one. Whenever I linger too long on describing something - even something important - I get the feeling the story isn't moving onward. My brain goes "ACTION PLEASE". Thus I'd be surprised if description was to bog down my pace.

The dangers
While it's good to leave some room to the reader's imagination, description remains an essential part of storytelling, especially in fantasy. You can establish a mood with it. You can give a better idea of what world these characters live in. Skillful description establishes the setting.  I don't want to miss on that!

The truth is that I don't think I need a lot of description to get my points across. I need meaningful details. I think it's fine not to describe a lot, if the time you spend doing it makes your setting unique. Underdescribing can lead to generic scenes. It's always better when you have an original location for your scene.

I guess the morale is not to do what I am doing. Don't be lazy with the description. Seek the specific. Seek the unique. Make the setting come to life.

Me? I'm just waiting for edits to fix it up. For now, I'm moving onward with the story!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Protagonists, Main Characters and Viewpoint Characters

Yesterday, I learned these weren't the same thing. Well, I knew about the viewpoint character already, but I always considered the other two terms to be the same. Orson Scott Card establishes a clear distinction between Main Character and Protagonist, however, which I believe is great to keep in mind.

Yes, most of the time, you'll want your MC to be your protagonist. But this doesn't have to be the case, and it can enhance your story to make them different. So what's the difference?

Protagonist: The protagonist is the character we're rooting for. He has our sympathy. We agree with his goals and we want him to win by the end of the novel. If your MC is a hero type, he'll be the protagonist, too. Star Wars' protagonists are Luke, Leia and Han Solo.

Main Character: The Main Character is the character whose actions are driving the plot. His character evolution and final decisions will decide of the novel's end. He has everyone's fate in his hands. If your protagonist is proactive, he's likely to be the main character, too.

Sometimes, however, the main character is the villain. This is true for Star Wars. Luke and co. spend the first two movies reacting to what Darth Vader does. And what is the third's climax? When Vader chooses his son over the Empire.

Viewpoint Character: Sometimes it's best when the viewpoint character is neither the protagonist nor the main character. In mysteries, for example, the POV character is often a sidekick, because the detective knows the murderer a fair bit before the climax (think Doctor Watson and Sherlock here). Most of the time it's advisable to keep the POV on either the MC or the protagonist, however, as this is where the action will be.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Amazing Zelda FanArt

Today I am afraid I shall geek out on you, and share the most amazing fanart I've seen. This isn't the piece proper, but rather the youtube video of its Making Of.

Watch it, even if it's just parts. I have spent the last 15 minutes gaping at my screen.