TAKE ME SOME TIME TO READ THE PREAMBLE:
So what is a literary writer, character driven reader doing talking about scifi, especially when she will nearly always pass on scifi even though she will readily admit to being a bit of a geek when it comes to Star Trek?
The answer is simple: I read an indie. It’s no secret I love to read, and I do read a variety of genres. Independent publishing has opened up a whole new world to me. Recently, I picked up an ebook by KC May: Venom of Vipers. And I read it. And I loved it. And wait for it–I reviewed it. I rarely review. I hate to review, but when I find I’ve truly enjoyed a book for some reason, I just might put pixel to screen and pen a few glowing words. (Thus many of my reviews tend to be 4 and 5 star for indies)
Then I started to wonder why this character driven writer and reader so enjoyed the book, and I realized it was Ms. Mays’s characterization.
That meant I simply had to think about it some more. So I settled down to dissect for you what I think made her characters spot on.
SKIP ME OVER SOME TO THE GOODS:
1st: The author introduced the main character straight away and stuck with keeping setting in the *ahem* background. This is a strange choice for scifi–setting is crucial, like fantasy, to show what the genre is. Let me explain: setting was in response to character rather than the other way round. The author showed the time and necessary specifics as they related to the character’s emotional state. She didn’t pause to layout each notion of how the world had changed, what timeframe it was, etc. She just let the character exist in the time and the reader connected to the character that way.
2nd:The characters ALL had flaws and ALL had good qualities. I fond myself rooting for one or two of the villains at one time or other. There was no clear-cut, black and white, hard edge to them. This had me wondering which side they’d end up on by the end.
3rd: The most important, I think: the writer always gave me the impression she’d spent time with the characters, that she knew them outside what she was letting come through in the book. this made me think they could live beyond the confines of the plot they existed in. This meant the characterization was invisible: something I always strive for. That also means I can’t say exactly what the author did to accomplish it. It simply showed that the characters were ruminated over outside the writing time. you can’t fake this depth. Just like spending time with friends, there is no recipe for getting to know someone.
TELL ME HOW YOU WANT ME TO FEEL AT THE END:
Brava, Ms. May. You are one more indie author who has demonstrated attention to craft to me.
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- Guest Blog: 3 Ways to Create Compelling Secondary Characters by Guy Harrison (katenewburg.wordpress.com)
- Balancing peripheral characters with main characters (theaatkinson.wordpress.com)