Sunday, January 16, 2011

Give a character a life

Hi everyone! Wow, I have a lot of new followers. Welcome all. I know all of you are following me because of the contest, but I hope you guys stick around afterward. The contest winner will be announced Monday. It will depend on work exactly when. So stick with me, guys!

Anyway, on to today's post. It's about characters.

I just got done reading the partial draft of MIDNIGHT SUN that Stephanie Meyer made available after it was leaked onto the web. My rocky relationship with the TWILIGHT series and my opinions on the horrible (even if not vicious in intent) deed of leaking the document aside, I think the premise of the attempt is something to be admired and learned from. For one very good reason.

The Cullen family does things outside of what they do with Bella.

It really is as simple as that. Characters need to have lives outside of interacting with your main characters. And I mean all of them. Even that one guy that delivers a message. Yes, his entire purpose in the draft may be to deliver a message, but you need to make sure that at least you are thinking about him in other ways.

MIDNIGHT SUN does this really well. For instance, we know Edward, from the eyes of Bella, goes through mood swings between talking to her and ignoring her in TWILIGHT. In MIDNIGHT SUN we see why. There are reasons and repercussions to his actions that we don't get to see in the first book that we get to see from his point of view.

Also, we get to see into the minds of other characters that we wouldn't have known. Angela, a potentially very minor character who doesn't do much, has a role, albeit little, from Edward's point of view. Events are put into place that we had no idea of in TWILIGHT.

So this is a challenge that I'm not only going to give to potential writers out there, but to myself as well. Make sure characters have a life. They have to have dreams and goals. They also have to have worries and fears. Even if they only show up for a tiny part, and readers may never know anything about them, I think it will be beneficial to know these things when writing them.

So, what do you guys think? Have you ever read MIDNIGHT SUN? Are you going to try it? Please let me know in the comments.

Happy reading and writing.


Rane said...

I read about 50 pages of midnight sun. I love Edward Cullen, but the manuscript was a little too rough draftish for me to really enjoy it. I still have it saved to my computer, so maybe when I have some extra time to kill! :-) Did you finish reading it? Let me know what you think of it overall!!

Annerb said...

@Rane -

I have kind of a love-hate relationship with the whole series, so my opinions may be a little skewed. I read all of them, including the draft, more for plot and content than writing. That being said, I did read the whole thing and I did notice a roughness to the writing. There were also a couple of spots where I didn't know what was going on because it wasn't written that well. So I agree with you there.

It was really interesting to see the story from Edward's eyes. Stuff happens behind the scenes that I thought was cool. Mainly, I think it was a good writing exercise to see how other characters reacted differently to the same situation, mainly Edward. So that's mainly how I looked at it.

Let me know if you ever finish it. I'd be interested to hear your opinions on it.

Sarah Robertson said...

Yeah, I'm still gnawing away at Eclipse and Breaking Dawn to even consider Midnight Sun. I agree though, that minor characters should be more than we're shown. Your story should revolve around your main character, but the world of your story shouldn't

Annerb said...


There is no need to get through the other two to read it, since all it's only the first book from Edward's point of view. It doesn't really matter if you've read the other books in the series.

But yes. That's a good way of saying that.

Bella said...

Loved Edward's point of view. Really hope she will get over the terrible thing someone did in stealing her work and publishing it online without her permission -- and please finish it! Please!

Annerb said...


From what I can tell, the manuscript was given to the person by Meyer, not stolen. But I do hope the same.

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