Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3T Writing Tidbit

As I start Passion Bites, Book 9 of the Biting Love series, there's a lot of water...and a lot of characters...under the bridge.

Dealing with a large cast of characters can be confusing for the reader. Here's one thing you as a writer can do to make it easier on them.

I gleaned this technique from reading the master of large cast novels, Colleen McCullough (The First Man in Rome, et al.).

TIP #2: Use a memory of this scene's Point-Of-View character (or a letter) at the end of this scene to remind the reader and segue to the next scene and its new POV character.

Example 1.

John staggered out of the dentist's office, rubbing his jaw. "Can't feel my lip. I wonder if my wife is fairing any better at little Johnny's parent-teacher conferences."
/*segues to scene 2*/
Mary clenched her fists under the table of the child-size desk that didn't quite fit her hips. She'd rather be having ten root canals than be here.

Example 2.

(John this, John that. At the end...) John opened the envelope, releasing Mary's distinct perfume, and extracted the thick rag stationery. He paused with it in his hand, wondering how her skills learned as a rich daughter at hundreds of charitable foundation luncheons were transferring to the board room.
/*segues to scene 2*/
"I'm afraid this won't do." Mary's tone was regretful as she set down the treasurer's report, stared down the boardroom table at the assembled men and women, and gently shook her head. "I'm afraid these losses won't do at all." Gentle, but the steel underneath was unmistakable. The men and women began to tremble.

Passion Bites heroine, Dr. Alexis Byornsson has a sister, Synnove. Synnove is now married to master vampire Ric Holiday and actually has a story of her own in book 6 of the series. So I could write "Dr. Synnove Holiday". But frankly, that's just another name for the reader to remember. To add resonance and make it easier to understand Synnove's purpose in this story, I'll default to calling her Alexis's sister.

I'll have another tip next month.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

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