Writing and Me

My Time Jump Hack

musings(1)

It’s happening. There is going to be a time jump in EVO Ghost. I have had conflicting advice on adding a time jump to my narrative, but in the end I thought , ‘a time jump will make me happy, and I write to make me happy’. I do feel it benefits the story for numerous reasons, and cuts out mundane routine that would be present if I mosied on through; first person present tense can be a little tricky that way.

imagesNow, I know I’ve got a lot of work to do to pull the time jump off, but I know I can do it, and make it beneficial to the narrative.

I’ve already discovered one hack that has been great for getting back into the headspace of all the main and secondary characters- renewed character notes!

I am focussing on each character separately, not solely thinking about them in terms of their relationship toward my MC, but in terms of where their heads are at. What has happened during the time jump? How did the situation at the end of book two affect them? Where do they fit in the new world? This practice in itself is great for inspiring narrative developments and plot twists. Some people have changed for the better, others for the worse, some tug on my heart strings. At least I know where to go with the narrative and character development.

Have you ever written a time jump into your narrative? Did it work? Did it prove harder than imagined?


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

Meme sourced from memegenerator.net

Advertisements
100% K.J Chapman, EVO Ghost, EVO Nation: Book One, EVO Shift, Writing and Me

It’s Killing Time… Don’t Panic, I’m A Writer!

2216f3fa7aa5f7f85b3bd5f0c12ffb64da65a668d8bf01b7ba639731b901ef32

Okay, I better explain that title, right? And perhaps the picture… Who am I kidding? It’s pretty self-explanatory.

Yep, even though I was a bitch of an author to some of my characters in EVO Shift, not many died. Not many in comparison to the 15 in EVO Nation. Yep, 15! Some were minor characters, but still- 15! Technically, there is more if you add in the faceless, nameless characters, but let’s not.

Now that I am drafting EVO Ghost, book three, the time has come for me to make the hard choices. Hard because my characters are my babies, and hard because someone needs to die. *Insert evil laugh here*.

Is it wrong that I enjoy a good, poignant death scene? I love fiddling with the narrative to create the perfect boiling pot of emotion. I want my readers to feel the death, whether it’s sadness at the loss of a beloved character, or euphoria as I dish out just desserts. It’s all in the name of writing fun.

On a final note, that meme was not created by me. I actually stumbled across it. Coincidence? I think not!


Meme sourced from quickmeme.com

Written content featured in this blog is the property of K.J.Chapman

Writing and Me

Characters, Characters Everywhere!

Have you ever thought that you have too many characters in you novel? I understand that ‘too many’ is a subjective concept, but if you are thinking you have too many characters, the chances are that you have too many characters.

I’m battling with this problem right now. Due to the nature of my story, many characters died in book one of the EVO Nation series, but I still managed to bring eleven forward into book two. Two of the characters were only introduced to us in the final chapter of book one. (I say introduced, but actually, my protagonist knew only that they were male and fighting for the same side.) The issue I am having is that every character is linked into the narrative in one way or another, or will be needed in book three. I’m a pantser not a plotter, and allow the story to lead me, but I do have one idea that seems set in stone for book three. Not only that, the narrative arc finds me introducing new characters.

What can be done?

  • Cull– If this aids your narrative, then great, cull away. The only problem with this option is that you may end up killing off characters for the sake of it, and leaving the readers disgruntled or feeling cheated. Embark on this option with great care.
  • Split up the characters- At first my characters are forced to remain a group due to external threats, but I have the option of splitting the group up. Not only does this aid my narrative, but it’ll give the readers, and me, a respite.
  • Give sub-characters a way out- If they’re not a necessity to the progressing narrative, give them a way to separate themselves from the main character and the current story. It is fine for them to play their part, and then excuse themselves as long as it is true to the narrative and a closure for that character and the reader.
  • Revise- If your are on your second or third book in a series this can prove tricky as most characters are established and you can’t just erase them. If the character is fresh and newly introduced, revise their importance. If you can do without them, do away with them.

If you have any tried and tested techniques for managing characters, or an abundance there of, I’d be happy to hear them.

Writing and Me

Quit the Narrative and Character Cliches

We’ve all read that book; the one with the over-used, unimaginative clichés. If we’re totally honest with ourselves, we have all written that one book too. It sits nestled in the back of the folder or drawer and should stay there for all eternity.

So, what is a cliché?

Definition: A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

I couldn’t have put it better myself- ‘lack of original thought’. Narrative and character clichés are predictable and dull.

  1. Damsel in distress: beautiful, but weak female protagonist without a personality, who constantly needs to be rescued by her hunky boyfriend <yuk>.
  2. The ‘Chosen One’ prophecy.
  3. Brooding, handsome love interest without a personality of his own.
  4. The villain sat in a chair, petting a white cat, and being mean for the sake of being mean.
  5. Wise, elderly advisor/mentor: the protagonist usually ignores their advice much to their own repentance.
  6. Love triangle…<yawn>.
  7. A return from the grave: the ‘but you’re dead’ line.
  8. Hate turning to love: ‘I hate you’… four chapters later…’I love you.’

As with any advice, I believe in ‘each to their own’. Some writer’s may not agree with my list, and if you can take a cliché and make it original and fresh, I take my hat off to you. One or two clichés may be unavoidable in your narrative, but stories littered with the above clichés are a huge turn off for me.

Do you have any clichés that grate on you as a reader? Have you read a story with a fresh take on an old cliché? Please, let me know.