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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kyle Anderson's Avatar
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    Ah, the curse of being a fiction writer.

    As some of you know, I've been working on my first novel. Well, the majority of it is done, but I want it to be perfect. I started with wanting to write a memoir, which turned into more of a novel as I could not recall exact timelines or dialogue.

    I'm finding that the details I wanted to dramatize in said novel are not relevant in today's society anymore. For those of you who don't know or may be confused, I'm recalling my coming out story. As truth would have it, coming out nowadays isn't nearly as big as it was a decade ago. So, I am thinking I need to de-emphasize the coming out part and fictionalize other things to make it relevant and interesting.

    ....And people wonder why I drink! I'll figure something out, just needed to vent/share my struggles.



  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Anderson View Post
    So, I am thinking I need to de-emphasize the coming out part and fictionalize other things to make it relevant and interesting.

    .
    Like what, for instance?

    *_*

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kyle Anderson's Avatar
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    It's hard to explain, but the main character is sexually assaulted and there could be more involvement with that situation.

  4. #4
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    Kyle,

    If you want to turn this into a novel, you can use your personal experience as a launching point, but you will need to dig deeper into the central conflict for your character. The risk of writing a novel based too heavily on personal experience is that you become "locked in" to the idea that it really happened, so therefore, it's believable.

    Characters are larger than life, and their conflict is more believable if they are more complex than what first appears. Strange, but true, no?

    So, if you go beyond the issue of coming out, what is really driving this character? What does he want? What is keeping him from getting it? (Not you. The character. Remember to keep them separate.)

    Jeanne

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kyle Anderson's Avatar
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    See, I started out that way. Personal experiences have driven the novel forward thus far, I just need to dig very deep and explore other sides to this character.

  6. #6
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    Kyle
    The current mantra is "character driven". This actually means the plot is even more important. It must put the character into conflicts which are not only believable in context, but make the reader empathize the characters. The bestselling books today aren't so much protagonist against the universe as protagonist against protagonist, an almost Shakespearian conflict of two or more believable characters driven into conflict by a circumstances. Personal experience is important - researching emotional response is tricky at best, but a solid plot line and a well researched series of locations are what drive the character's (and reader's) reactions and emotions.

    Most of us haven't had to save the world or been pursued by agents from mysterious black ops organizations.

    Most of us have had, or know someone who has had, relationship problems, financial problems, substance abuse problems ... I could go on, but you get the idea. These personal problems make a character believable, from Lady Macbeth’s constant nagging to Jack Ryan’s fear of flying. They rarely make the character interesting by themselves. The recovering alcoholic who discovers a plot to overthrow the government is more believable for his flaws, and they add a personal dimension to the problems he must overcome (who is going to believe a drunk, or even a recently ex-drunk?) but, in my opinion, the conflict that makes the book the character’s interaction with the plot to overthrow the government.

    Something to think about.

    Keep writing and good luck.

    Chuck S.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kyle Anderson's Avatar
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    Very good points Chuck. The current novel sees the main character discover his flaws as he grows up and battles through junior high and high school while being gay and overweight. It's also very feeling-driven. I'm not just saying "I'm depressed," I am depicting the depression through vivid imagery and raw emotion.

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