Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Farewell to Alex

I attended WriteOnCon (a free online conference for kidlit authors) last week – if you can call not leaving the house for three days attending something. There was a TON of great information about virtually every subject. The workshops on characters and revision got me thinking about the novel I am revising.

I had been looking for plot holes and places the plot needs to be strengthened, and fixing them as I went along. When I thought about it, most of the “plot problems” I have found are more like character problems.

I have a cast of characters I really like. There’s one in particular, though, that makes everything too easy. Just by being there, he takes away the protagonist’s motivation. They do things, but there’s really no need to do anything. Katya doesn’t need to find out answers, Alex is there – and between the two of them, they can figure out anything he doesn’t already know. They’re both smart and funny, and they work well together. Too well.

Katya’s too happy. Things happen to them, but if Katya and Alex are together, they’re both happy. They figure out a plan of action and go for it. That sounds like a good thing, I know. In real life it is, but it’s not very exciting to read.

Katya needs to be shaken up a little bit. She needs to get out of her comfort zone and really have to work for what she wants. She’ll be a stronger character for it, and I love strong characters.

So, I’ll have to say, “Goodbye, Alex. Kat loved you well.”  He won’t be missed, though. Not really.

What are you reading?