A few weeks ago I had an epiphany.
I figure there are a couple of options available to me this month, which is Graphic Novel month. I can do a collection of one-off strips like the one below (which took me about 5 or 6 hours), or something longer with a narrative arc.
Strips are easier for readers to dip in and out of, but it might be quite hard going to think of and draw something new every day. Longer stories are more work for all concerned but at least if I have one idea and run with it there’s less pressure because I can essentially storyboard and get on with it. Also I have been saying ‘graphic novel’ all year, not ‘collection of comic strips’…
Such trials and tribulations I face, doesn’t it make your heart bleed?! Continue reading “To Strip, or Not to Strip” →
This morning I trumped along to Charlotte Square once more to see Janice Galloway talk about her new book. Following on from her anti-memoir about her childhood, This Is Not About Me, volume 2 is about her teenage years in Ayrshire and is called All Made Up. I sense a theme.
The event was held in the RBS Main Theatre, and it was rammed. The girl sitting next to me, who was writing about it for Three Weeks, had seen Galloway before and didn’t find this remotely surprising. I sense I have been missing out – I came because the programme blurb looked interesting.
As the lights go down and everyone settles in, event chair Ruth Wishart introduces All Made Up as a book “where sex and music jostle for priority status.”
“And Latin,” Galloway chimes in.
This sets the tone, and leads the author into an explanation as to why she doesn’t see the book as a straight memoir.
It’s the third day of questions courtesy of Elaine from the Dreams and Whispers Blog, and she asks something I’ve never really thought about before… to choose which of my children I love the most!
Today’s question is about the characters in your books. For me as a reader, I find that interesting characters can really make a book brilliant. With you being on your fifth book now, you must have invented and thought about a fair few people, so which of them stand out the most – which two have been your favourite and least favourite so far?
I agree with you that characterisation can make or break a book. Good characters stay with you and you want to find out more about them – this is presumably why so many authors write in series. Whereas bad ones can make it difficult to carry on reading (although I’m pretty tenacious – it’s rare that I don’t drag my way kicking and screaming to the end of a book).
So far my favourite character is probably Caligula, if I can legitimately claim him as a character! I enjoyed trying to get into his mind and second guessing why he did the crazy things that he was meant to have done – that’s the revisionist historian in me trying to come out, I think. The sources on Caligula are fantastically biased but it makes for interesting reading.
I have a lot of affection for Victor McGlynn as well – he was the main character in the Western and I gave him quite a rough time of it with a pretty sad back story and a not amazing here and now, but he coped with dignity! I am also really looking forward to writing the main characters in my kids’ book in July, because I’ve been developing them in my head for about two years.
There aren’t any characters I haven’t enjoyed writing at all, but I suppose my least favourite is Jennifer, the protagonist of the last book. This is partly because I swithered an awful lot over how to write her – this has been the most difficult book so far.
I was trying to write her as a stroppy teenager but I think I may have gone a bit overboard with her lack of empathy and self involvement, so I’ll have to sort that out when I go back to edit it! Think I should make her a bit more likeable! Although having said that, Stephanie Meyer didn’t bother making Bella likeable and she did alright. Maybe I’ll just leave it….