Well look at that. It’s after noon and I haven’t posted yet. Why’s that? Well, because TODAY is Staff Appreciation Day and I’ve been over on campus stuffing my face with free hot dogs, ice cream, and barbeque. I even WON A DOOR PRIZE. Y’all I never win ANYTHING (at least not like random stuff that didn’t involve entering some kind of thing like a poster or a story into a contest). What did I win, you might ask? A flexible keyboard, 2 t-shirts, a candy jar, a couple of pens, and a cute little bag. Not really sure what I shall do with a keyboard that can survive a sandstorm, a flood, or being rolled up in a suitcase, but now I have one. You NEVER KNOW.
Anyway, before THAT, I was juggling getting real work done and having a long chat with Pot about my Sawyer lacking a character arc issue. So he doesn’t have one really. I knew that. Pot is not sure that I need one. I mean I’ve got a really strong, clear one for Elodie, and Sawyer is really invested in helping her with that. And that’s okay. I do not have to have two totally different and separate protags with separate missions and arcs (even though that is USUALLY what I write). It works marvelously in Shiver and we all know how much I love that. Grace is our main protag in there and she’s really invested in helping Sam with his problem. Giving Sawyer some kind of true, dual-protag status would really change the book from what it is and what I want it to be, so I think I’m good with how things are.
As usual, because she is awesome, Pot gave me a lot to think about and small changes that I could make in things, tweaks to the backstory, that would still give Sawyer some changes to make and would really drive his actions more than “just because I said so” that will, I think, REALLY deepen things in a way that’s been missing. She’s great at asking the right questions such that random bits of plot and character that have been floating around in my brain all willy nilly suddenly have a purpose! So that’s part of my project for the weekend is to look over my draft and outline and see where I can do that.
And in case you haven’t checked it out yet, Pot has a great post today about YA ParaRom where she talks about the genre, Twilight, and Wicked Lovely.
It sounds like she gave you some good advice : ) It’s probably good advice for everyone – characters don’t have to have a noticeable character arc for them to be interesting. All characters change in little ways whether you mean for them to or not, and your readers will still pick up on that.
Sounds like a great day! I’ve been struggling with the same thing myself – a character whose main purpose seems to be aiding and guiding another. Though he does have his own motivations, he doesn’t really have anything actually *happen* to him. Maybe I’ll take a look at his backstory one more time…
Great! Glad this is working out for you!