One thing that’s getting me through a really trying time at work is the story that I’m currently writing. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and couldn’t wait for the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man (Sandman and Hydro-Man had just gotten mixed up, and the combined Mud-Thing was rising behind Spidey!) I decided to dedicate myself this year to producing stories and scripts for actual release.
The one I’m currently working on is loosely inspired by the haunted Massachusetts of H.P. Lovecraft, and I’m really enjoying the process of getting it into shape for submission.
After the first draft, I remembered my resolve to stop using the default protagonist of Western fiction: a straight, white, man. Switching the gender, I started in on the second draft in earnest. That’s when the unexpected happened. Simply from changing one aspect of the generic main character, my narrator developed a personality.
Suddenly I was thinking about her as a person, instead of a passive experiencer of plot. Who was she? Why was she at Magnolia Harbor? Did she miss her family? How would she spend her time at the beach? The story became much stronger as its narrator became somebody.
All because I actually thought about the story as being about a person. Imagine that!
image cropped from iOS Maps display