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My friends call me Elldee. And breaking the half century mark has been highly motivating: happy wife, mother, writer, teacher, day dreamer.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Developing a foil character in yWriter5

One of the bonuses that came out of finding yWriter5 (link in the Favorite Sites column to the top right) and then using it to develop my book, In Times Passed, was that as I entered some information into the program about the various characters present in my book, I got to know them better and developed them further. One character I had given little thought to but was using as one of the main reasons that my protagonist, Brent Garrett, was so unable to find direction and thus was the type to leap without looking began to take shape.  Much of what I learned about her, Vivian (maiden name still undecided) his mother, would not be used in the book, but I realized she was not a character to look over at all.  A new scene developed that showed at least a portion of the relationship she has with her son and how she has effected him directly and indirectly whether intentionally or not.

The second book in the series, No-time Like the Present, when roughed out had no mention of her at all. But after a stint in yWriter5, and my understanding of Vivian's motivations, possible intentions (she has yet to reveal to me how much of what she does is intentional, good fortunate busybodying and the effects of someone else's possible instigation) growing with the first book's finish, she now plays a role in the second book and her underlying machinations become more interesting.  As I work through the series, I suspect that Vivian will call for a book of her own, perhaps to defend herself and all that seems to get laid at her door.   

So my point is, yWriter5 or anything that makes you have to supply detail or defend traits and motivations, can lead to a foil character getting unexpected dimension and even the opportunity to rise as a main character in a later work.

Now that I think about it, it was in having to write down the motivations, obvious and underlying, that caused Brent to make the choices he did, that forced me to look into Vivian's involvement more and then develop her further.

Sorry about this not going in on Wednesday, my weekly blog day.  I promised myself and my nonexistent readers I would blog weekly and apparently failed in my third week.  I love teaching, but it is time consuming.  But I plan to work this habit into my life, come what may.
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