This month I’ve been frantically trying to catch up with my March goal of revising the giant robots book. It ran over, but in a really exciting way — the book feels so much stronger after this revision, and I really leveled-up my abilities at crafting a plot, following an outline and incorporating beta reader comments without turning into an anxious puddle.
It’s been a successful month in health goals too . I’m now -45lbs down (over 3 stone!), and I’m within the ‘normal’ BMI bracket. BMI is a flawed crock of shit, as most of you know, but I’m still glad to hit that goal before my biannual health review at the day job.
What’s Worked for Me
I was feeling a bit guilty in March because I devoted a lot of my time to read-alongs, which I love but which also cut heavily into my writing time. But as it turns out, the read-alongs really helped me improve!
I spent last month discussing and reading the finale of the A Darker Shade of Magic series, ‘A Conjuring of Light‘ . In particular, the awesome Muskedragons reading group was focussed on the arc of Holland: sometimes antagonist, sometimes ally, and always a fully-fleshed-out and flawed part of the world.
It got my thinking about the antagonist figure of the giant robots project, and how little I really understood about his past and his goals in the world.
Victoria Schwab, the ADSOM writer, also posted some tweets at the time which resonated very strongly with me:
So I wrote an outline of the book if my antagonist was instead the protagonist, focussed on his goals and motivations. It really changed the book for the better, helping me create a much more balanced and believable conflict.
The next challenge is showing these goals without resorting to too much dialogue-as-exposition. I’m going to need to think of some interesting ways to work it all in.
Which leaves me with a question for all your writer types: how do you flesh out your characters, and how do you give the reader a glimpse of their point of view?