Three Birthdays and Character Development

My daughter turned six recently, and due to scheduling restraints, we ended up having three birthday parties for her. Family and friends are always fun to have around, but the hectic planning and cooking can be maddening. Her satisfied smile at the end of the day, however, made it all worth while.

Lately, I’ve been tinkering about with the tags feature in Scrivener. Story is immensely important, to say the least, but so are character arcs. There are definitely internal obstacles that we present our characters to overcome, and this growth shapes our characters into who they are, and at the same time, allows the reader to experience and relate to their growth. Remember Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire? In the book, Louis was struggling to accept the fact that he was no longer human. He still maintained that he should behave as a human ordinarily would, even after his transformation into a vampire. It was his eventual acceptance of what he had become, however, that really made the character shine (and not in a glittering sort of way).

In Scrivener, making a character searchable by scene allows me to study their arcs. Marking their names as Keywords in the Inspector, I can conjure up every scene with the character in it. The real topping on the cake, however, is when you mix it up a bit and implement relationships. By tagging my main character with her love interest, for example, I can bring up every scene in the book where these two people are together. This allows me to study the progression of their relationship. This feature is not only flexible, but built with a complexity to allow for numerous circumstances.

The book is still coming along nicely, and I’ve also been playing around with a short story concept (I can feel J.C. Hart rolling her eyes). I understand that short fiction isn’t exactly my thing, which is unfortunate, but I still like to dab about in the field every once in a while. This one is a tale of fantasy, and yes that means elves and kings and magical elements. Unfortunately, this is something that I’ve only been picking at because the novel takes priority in my creative time (mentioned in an earlier post). However, I plan to make this short work of fiction just that: short.

Today, I will be writing in the novel and following my lead investigator. I’m still trying to get her into her father’s house. He passed away recently, and there are demons that she has to confront, as well as a person from her past. The scene is rather long in it’s current state, but I’m trying to allow the character’s emotional reflection to bring the reader into the next chapter.

8 thoughts on “Three Birthdays and Character Development

  1. haha I am NOT rolling my eyes. And you can do short stories fine, you just need to keep trying. Send it my way when you’re done 😉

    1. Hahaha!! Fine then! I will send it your way! You might like it after all. I might end up adding it to my shelf of shame with the rest of my short fiction though. We shall see.

  2. Reblogged this on JC Lynne and commented:
    Having been hooked on Scrivener by Hubby, I’ve been sadly neglectful of investigating it’s full potential. M. W. Griffith, however, has now intrigued me. Now, where to find time!

    1. I still have yet to delve into it’s full potential, but I’m more focused on the work at hand and making Scrivener work in a way that suits my needs for the book. I’m really glad that you enjoyed the post, and hope that you certainly find time to investigate and enjoy everything the software has to offer. Let me know what other neat little things you turn up!

  3. I’ve bought Scrivener for dummies, and after a much-needed nap, plan to transfer my entire novel on to it and start playing. And, hopefully, learning.

    1. I didn’t know about Scriv for dummies. There are a bunch of features that I haven’t even used yet, mainly because my focus is centered on writing the first draft of the novel. I’m sure that during the second and third drafts, the other tools will come into play, but as for now, I need things to be distraction free, you know?
      It’s well worth the money for any writer, and I hope you find good use for it! Have you checked out the tutorials on you tube? They cover quite a bit, and may be of use to you.

  4. There is a public community for people who use Scrivener on Google Plus. We have over 800 members. Because this is a public community, you can read the posts and comments even if you do not choose to join us.

    Also if you use the Windows version of Scrivener, it was updated on Monday by Literature and Latte.

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