Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When your main character isn't the main badass

Learn to Howl has been on sub at Angry Robot Books' open door since December 31, so my brain decided now is a great time to start thinking about those characters again. I have to finish The Wolf You Feed (book two) still, you see. And figure out what the closing volume of the trilogy will entail. I've got some high points in mind, but it's still...murky.

I see discussion, like you do, about main characters being overshadowed. Or passive. And in Learn to Howl, Allie (the main character) is that in many ways. Both of that. She doesn't really know what's going on. She's trying to get her feet under her while she learns as fast as possible her heritage and how to fit in  (see what I did there?) And she's thrust into a Bad Situation (because that's how stories go else we wouldn't tell them) with her cousin Morgan, who is the opposite of all this. Morgan is the epitome of capability and confidence, and occasional bad decision making. But Morgan goes it all full bore.

This doesn't mean Allie is a useless tin can tied to her tail, though. Because nobody wants that in a main character. As the story goes, she pokes her head up in (I hope? I think?) significant ways, and at the end displays a stronger coming into her own. Though maybe some of it is too subtle? I don't know, don't bother me.

Point is, in Learn to Howl I tread some interesting ground, and some ground that might not be as solid as I think it is. But I need to keep progress made in mind as I go into the sequel, The Wolf You Feed. I need to keep characters growing and changing, and I need to  keep momentum. If the writer is bored the reader is bored, and I've got a couple of "super bored I don't think this is necessary" places in the MS as it stands. The action needs to start sooner, kicked up, and then the other wrinkles need to get smoothed out.

Oh, and of course I still need to finish editing The Last Song. And I'm not quite done with Esto Quod Es, my April project (though it's super close). And I'm taking notes and going to outline a fantasy novel. These are the gifts my brain gives me.

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