Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writing Books and Stuff

How passive can the main character of a story be?

That's one of the issues I'm working through while writing Argiope. Adam, the main character, is physically handicapped and being threatened by people with "superhuman" abilities. For much of the book, he really doesn't do much but get rescued. He's getting better, but when I start draft two on this work I'm really going to have a long look at Adam's passivity. Part of it is intentional, but I need to carefully weight to make sure I haven't overdone it.

Argiope differs from my first novel, The Ways of Khrem, in several ways.

1. Adam is a crippled petroleum engineer who just wants to find out what happened to his nephew and his family, while Cargill is a much more dynamic character even though he is "retired." Of course, Cargill has the appropriate skills to face his situations, while Adam starts off way over his head.

2. The Ways of Khrem really didn't have any strong female characters, other than a couple of flashback scenes with Cargill's dead lover. Argiope has several, both good and bad. I may actually need to cut one out or down (Adams lawyer ex-fiancee) just because I think she might be too strong a character for the minor role she plays. As it is that will still leave Olivia, who Adam describes as a "multi-talented hyper beauty with an IQ off the charts,"....and Maggie, a rather fearsome powerhouse of an antagonist who blasts her way through a police squad in a hospital in an effort to  terminate Adam. Strong female characters in this story = covered.

3. Both feature large spiders, but in entirely different roles.

4. The Ways of Khrem is a sword and sorcery book set in a fantasy city, while Argiope is a sci-fi/horror set in modern Texas.

5. Both feature strong supporting main male character's. Ways of Khrem has Captain Drayton, a sort of old fashioned good guy in a steel helmet, while Argiope has Antonio...picture Ricardo Montalban in a cream colored suit, a pony tail, and a straw hat...with a gun, of course.

So my second novel coming along, and really beginning to take shape. It just takes time.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nate,
    I'm glad you're rolling along with this. A few weeks ago you seemed to be at an abyss.

    Here's a thought from one who knows your story not at all :-): Maybe Adam's passivity is just a front. He's probably seething inside because he must have an idea about what happened to his family. I'm sure he also has intense feelings about being incapacitated--especially with these superhumans around. Adam's emotional presentation could really dilute the passivity.
    (I hope you really wanted comments/suggestions; I've been in so many writing groups, I couldn't help myself.)