Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nirvana

While reworking the first couple of chapters in the 3rd person, in a flash, I realized something very interesting and very important. I get it now!

The difference between Character Development and Story Development.

First, a little personal history. Eden Fell is the first story I wrote. I was shocked to find after only 2 months, I had a completed novella. I was lucky with Eden fell, that's one story that pretty much wrote itself. I was dealing with a very strong main character and by describing this character in the 1st person, the story just happened.

Obviously, I had been spoiled and got into bad habits.

Character development is never a problem for me. Though I wasn't aware, what I was doing with any story I wrote after Eden Fell, including the incomplete ones, was relying on the character development to tell the story. Although this can work, if you have a strong character who sees everything, like Eden, but this doesn't always work for every type of story. Because sometimes the story needs development.

It needs it's own personality, history, gender even. The story needs to be fully developed and become real as much as the characters or anything else.

Plot development isn't the same thing as Story Development. I can work on an outline, make all the tweaks I want, but it will always be nothing more than the skeleton of a story. Not fully developing the story is what's been holding me back. Eden Fell was a unique experience, but I'd never write another story like that one unless I come up with the exact same character as Eden.

Now I know why some authors end up writing the same story for the rest of their writing career. They'll have a set formula of a fully developed story, and that's it. I always thought it was just a marketing scheme, but I know better now. Never mind characters or plot, Story Development is damn hard work. Once you have it, you don't want to let it go.

For novels, I'm going to write in the 3rd person only from now on. For novellas or short stories, I'll decide as it comes. I've written short stories that works best in 1st person, others work better in 3rd person. Novel writing is a different form of expression. To express my writing fully, 3rd person brings out the Story Development.

Story Development... wow... I can't believe this didn't occur to me sooner.

I feel... enlightened.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent. I'll be following the results with great interest.

    ReplyDelete

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
If you're not a spammer,
I'd love to hear from you.