Eliminating Scene-Hogs

(and the pratfalls of NaNo)

Attack of the characters...
Attack of the characters…

When I wrote the first draft of my ‘main’ novel, half of it was for NaNo. I guess I wasn’t thinking/concentrating.

I mean, it’s fair to say that I didn’t set out with the thoughts “I want to make this marketable, easy to edit and in a set person that doesn’t deviate.”

I was thinking more about the novel I had chosen to abandon so I could try my hand at NaNo.

I’ve been reading up on everything to do with multi-protagonist novels because it has finally hit me in the face – my novel is multi-protagonist. By proxy. After all, the story unfolds in two different ‘timestreams’.

As I say, that wasn’t my original intention. My original intention was to tell an awesome, clever story about time-travel and love never giving up and philosophy. It just happened to turn into multi-protagonist when I worked out that open third is much more difficult to write than close third. And more of the book was in close third. I couldn’t say how much of a majority, though.

Some books do well with random perspectives; I’m trying to eliminate that from my own. Yes: I’m getting rid of characters who decided that the scene was there for the taking – even, in one instant, with the protagonist being part of the action (in this particular scene, young me decided to write in general open third)!

So, I’m taking these scene-thieves and – almost – throwing them into the background whilst the protagonist takes the floor. Or, I suppose, I could make these characters more dominant – if that’s what makes more sense.

But, writers, I wouldn’t recommend this. I simply consider it because it leaves more open for the sequels and because I have scenes that I’m not ready to give up yet…beautiful, random scenes (xD!)

It may be bad enough having two or three recurrent perspectives… Not that this is about juggling them. I feel capable to ‘juggle’ them because, as I said, that’s what the novel requires.

And it’s not really about the characters, but about the story they are living.

What about you? Have you ever written a first draft to find it littered with perspectives that shouldn’t be there?


(PS. I have a lot of random ideas for random posts this week, so bear with if it’s not quite the usual stuff. So many random things running through my head again!)


3 thoughts on “Eliminating Scene-Hogs

  1. Yes. I wrote this whole scene about these two characters talking about the MC and at the end I realized, this is good for my knowledge, but this isn’t anything the reader needs to see. I promptly cut it and weaved some of the info into the story. I think it made it stronger.

    1. It became clearer to me after we talked about queries. I went through, reading, and I found one chapter where, for known but hardly solid reasons, I was looking through the eyes of a new character, who had only appeared once before. And, being me, I had headhoppped back to Aidelle mid-chapter.
      Ithink you had a better reason that you were including information. I’m sure the change made it stronger – iceburg effect and all that. But, yeah, sometimes characters are just too wild… 😛

      1. I think it’s habit for us who grew up on TV because TV headhops like crazy. (Not saying that all we do is watch TV of course). Sometimes I get a little weary of TV’s headhopping. Seems like they can hardly make a show with a central protagonist anymore, although they do it well occasionally. But it’s TV and it works. Novels, as we know, not as much.

        I know what you mean about wild characters though… They can get quite crazy.

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