Okay, so I couldn’t talk you out of making your main character a writer. But maybe I can talk you out of making your writer character a bad stereotype. So do me a favour and avoid the following character traits seen so often in clichéd fictional versions of ourselves.
Don’t. Okay, this sounds like very definitive advice about whether or not to make your main character a writer and obviously there are going to be exceptions. But as a general rule, my first piece of advice about this is always going to be NOT to make your main character a writer unless it is absolutely crucial to the story.
If you like characters who never sleep and only ever pass out to get some rest, then this is the book for you.
There are two things writers never seem to have enough of: time and feedback. I can’t help with time. But even if you don’t have a group of people willing to read your works in progress, there are ways to identify areas for improvement in your own writing without having to have it pointed out to you.
Some of these suggestions might seem hard. But your willingness to embrace them might be indicative of how determined you are to become your own editor and, in turn, a better writer.
I didn’t love this book but I didn’t hate it either. Pattern Recognition is not a difficult read although some of the author’s language choices were disruptive (I couldn’t figure out if the main character’s name, Cayce, was pronounced Case or Casey and I spent a bit of time being distracted by this).
My previous post was a top ten books list I put together more than fifteen years ago and I knew that a current list would be very different, so here it is.
One thing I will say is that I feel I may be very much guided by my limited memory. So many of the books on this list now are recent reads – which is not to say I didn’t have very strong reactions to them; I did. But perhaps the very strong reactions I’ve had to other books I read a long time ago have dimmed in my memory, making this a top ten list of books I can remember rather than a genuine “best ever” list. Oh, well. Nothing’s perfect.
Again, this list is in no particular order because, as I said in my previous post, choosing one book over all others is just an impossible task for me.
As a writing exercise more than fifteen years ago, I constructed a list of my top ten books. They aren’t in any order because choosing one book over all others is just an impossible task for me. Most of them wouldn’t make my top ten books list now (which you will see in a couple of days when I post a current list) and I wonder if I was genuinely impressed with these books or if my reading choices were so narrow that this list is simply the result of that.
As an insight into the lives of domestic help in Mississippi in the 60s, this is a terrific book. As a work of fiction, it is well-written (particularly the author’s ability to convey a range of different voices without confusing the reader) but the story is lacking.
A couple of days ago, I discussed the age old question of whether women can write male characters and men can write female characters.
In the novel I am currently writing, Trine, a novel in three parts, the first part is from the perspective of a woman and the second and third parts are from the perspectives of two different men. I’ve finished writing the first part and I’m extremely happy with the result. I’m about half way through writing the second part from the male perspective and I’m just as happy. But I thought I’d let you be the final judge on whether I am effectively conveying the male voice.