Friday, March 4, 2011

Characters Giving Writing Advice...Ha!

Oftentimes, names like 'inner editor' or 'inner critic' are assigned to the editing function writers use when they're picking apart their own work, in the NaNoWriMo participant circles especially. The name 'muse' is often used for the inspiration that fuels our rough draft. The editing function, in the rough draft stage, is pesky, while the muse is invaluable. It works visa versa in the revision stage. Both have their uses and one isn't necessarily better than the other, just different.

Well, my personal 'muse' and 'inner critic', I just realized, often take on the form of the protagonists of my books. My preferred style is first-person narrative, with two opposing viewpoints that alternate each chapter. The muse and inner critic are very opposing in what they want to do, so this is fitting.

Example: in Faerie Games, Melissa is my inner critic, Finn is my muse. Melissa is the nitpicky, organized one who always knows how to fix things, who likes a plan, an outline. Finn is the erratic, moody premadonna who strikes at the most inopportune time with spurts of genius and carefree creation. Polar opposites who argue constantly, yet when they work together, it's magic.

With the next pair of protagonists, I think the defining line is going to be a lot more erratic. I'm hoping to work on Fianna next, focusing on Helen (crazy, impulsive, controlling mother) and Lucy (creative, calm, worry wart daughter). Maybe I'll need to employ Yoel (negotiating, history loving, brainiac leader figure) to be the sole inner critic and oversee all of his crazy-muse women.

How about you guys? Do you have any characters that would fit these roles too perfectly or do your inner critic and muse have lives of their own?


  1. I've never done the first person alternating viewpoint...although I have done it in third person. I feel like I would confuse myself! Good luck.

  2. I don't usually think of my Inner Critic and Muse as having their own lives--I give them voices for fun, sometimes, but the impulse to write/edit/etc. itself I don't consider as a "person". My characters, yes, but nothing else unless I want something else beyond just a need to do write. :P

  3. I think mine have lives of their own- LOL But what a great thing to make them characters!

  4. This is a great way to describe the process. I don't think I have an opposing force. Like Capt. Kirk in Star Trek, the episode where he is split in two, I've entered the transporter and came out whole. LOL

    Nice to meet you. I followed you over from Nicole's.
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