blockages

Writer’s block sounds a bit naff. For me, it’s a lack of inspiration, a sneaking suspicion that what you’re putting down will seem trite or uninspired in the cold light of day.

As per earlier posts, I’m facing a turning point in the narrative. To avoid the problem, I’ve gone and created a new, much larger dilemma for myself by attempting to interweave the key character’s story with a second one.

Adding a new protagonist into the manuscript at this stage seems like a mad thing to do. It does have some benefits I’m willing to explore; adding an additional story thread allows me to explore the world a bit more fully rather than through one character’s eyes (and readers may get a little bored with Yuri’s perspective, which is somewhat world-weary). It also lets me cheat in chapter transitions – there’s an implicit expectation that the world moves on as you flit between characters, so a protagonist you left at point B or C could have moved on to G or H without needing to go through the boring bits of D, E and F. Plus, this sort of change is going to be a lot easier now than if I faced it another 20k-plus words down the track.

The downside, naturally, is that I haven’t had months of thinking around who this new character is. They have to add to the overarching story, after all, so their character arc and progression will be critical. Do the two stories intertwine throughout the entire book, or just meet at the end? Or at all?

My first few ideas of who this character would be were quickly scratched out as being aspects of my existing protagonist; if their goals or attitude were so complementary, there’d be little reason to skip between them. So, no, what I’ve (currently) settled on is someone quite new, someone who will start in a very different place but get drawn into similar events that engulf Yuri. I’m going to give him (I’ve decided, at least, it’s a him) a couple of chapters to get me interested. I figure if I am keen to keep reading about their take on things, so will the audience. If I can’t excited about what’s going to happen next, neither will the general reader. So, please wish Protagonist #2 all the best; I hope for his sake and mine that he doesn’t turn into a mayfly creation.

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