Mulling out loud

7 Nov

So in the shaking-loose that is becoming a theme for NaNo ’10, I came up with this notion in the wee hours of this morning that I should merge two characters. Two major characters. I have this one character who is more than likely going to be the main character of at least the first book in what I hope will be a series, and my biggest hurdle with her is she is, frankly, dull. A couple of days’ writing of her going through her deceased grandmother’s belongings with warm sentimentality is making me cringe at the thought of being shelved with the feel-good chick-lit.

I needed to make her more interesting, give her complications, and the thought occurred to me for story-line reasons that she could have rejection issues. But I already have another, much more interesting character, with rejection issues. So then, I thought, “merge.” But then the question becomes, how?

The new hybrid character would be an archeology grad student like Boring Girl. But Boring Girl is white (possibly Jewish?) and Interesting Girl is asian. I’ve written Boring Girl as straight. Interesting Girl is gay. If I merge them, I either lose a POC character, or I lose one of the only straight characters in my novel. Having at least one major character be straight is sort of important to me so my story doesn’t get pigeon-holed as lesbian lit, but I think her straightness is part of the reason Boring Girl is boring. To me. I really don’t care about her love life or love life issues, unless she were to get together with a really unusually interesting guy character, which I did sort of have planned for her (but I haven’t gotten there yet).

Okay, so maybe she’s a bisexual asian archeology student with rejection issues. But then I’m stuck on her rejection issues. Some are family-related, but in Interesting Girl’s old back story, it was mostly that women were constantly breaking up with her. If I make her straight or bi, and have it that men are constantly breaking up with her, suddenly, it’s a romance movie cliche. Or maybe, both genders are constantly breaking up with her. That would be pretty pathetic. In an interesting way.

18 Responses to “Mulling out loud”

  1. cactuswatcher November 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    In an interesting way.
    I don’t know how the writing is going, but this internal debate about your character is interesting.

  2. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    The writing is a little fluid at the moment. Actually, it’s a lot fluid.

  3. zargon10 November 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    Both genders breaking up with her because of her unresolved family issues! 🙂 What do I win? 🙂

  4. zargon10 November 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    And then her friends and/or family wander in and they are gay or straight. And she has a BFFJill who is guy? girl? bi? straight? gay? but they can’t ever get together romantically because of ____?

  5. zargon10 November 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    If you make her interesting, interesting people will just show up in her life I presume.

  6. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    I think they break up with her because she’s sort of an unpleasant person to be around. Part of her journey as a character is to learn to mellow out.

  7. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    Her BFFJill is her ex-girlfriend. Or, one of them. Who has moved on to someone a little more…sane.

  8. spiletta42 November 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    What if Boring Girl and Interesting Girl were linked in some magical way, so they kept doing some sort of involuntary body switching thing, suddenly living each others lives and thinking they were going crazy?
    And what if I got more than 3 hours sleep on night this week . . . I swear that sounded plausible in my head.

  9. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    I think that would change my plot rather drastically, since that’s kind of a story in itself.
    But now I’m thinking maybe she’s just got multiple personality disorder….
    That also changes her race.
    Okay, time to take a nap.

  10. spiletta42 November 7, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Maybe she has race-changing MPD and rejection issues because she’s adopted?

  11. zargon10 November 7, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    Re: In an interesting way.
    oh, so you’re telling bits of my story, just not sequentially and with a different character? LOL

  12. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Oh, I have a third character who is the adoptee. Can’t be stealing her issues, now.

  13. spiletta42 November 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Okay, then I’m officially out of ideas. At least if you want them to make sense! (I might have to write something about that bodyswapping idea, at risk of it sounding like a cheesy popcorn movie.)

  14. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Body-switching has gotten a bit cliche in the SFF realm.

  15. spiletta42 November 7, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Indeed. And nobody will ever do it better than Futurama.

  16. cornerofmadness November 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    that is a dilemma but if boring girl is boring to you she’ll probably be boring to us too

  17. neshaffer November 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Exactly.

  18. lakrids404 November 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    How about making her original from a different culture than Us? British, Canadian, Mexican etc… She could have with her parents, when she was a teenager.

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