Saturday, June 14, 2008

Spanked My Character!

photo courtesy of Stock Exchange

Well, HERE'S a fine mess I've gotten myself into! My odyssey into the mysteries of POV spurred dozens of comments, here on the blog and various loops I post to. I was most grateful for the insight, and the message was rapid and profound: Multiple POV is where it's at.

That settled, I waggled my fingers and set out to add the third POV "leg" to Kata Sutra's menage/triangle, Asian karate virtuoso Makoto Chinen. Mak is rocked and charming, a bit of a bad boy with discipline in martial arts and a ninth degree black belt in erotic ones...and a complete, utter mystery outside the dojo where he trains and indulges after-hours sexual sparring.

I stared at the story for days, willing this Japanese god to open up to the writer. No go. I pulled all my tricks out of the writer's hat and a few from others. All good, but none effective. Took a break for several days, then returned. Nothing. In the dojo he's all out, right in the fray, open to scene after scene of powerful fighting and dangerous loving. But once he saunters out of the studio in snakeskin boots and tight-fitting jeans, he rides off on his motorcycle and leaves me in the dust. Granted, my characters don't reveal their deep darks right at the off...but I can't even glimpse his house, job, nothing. Whatever his secrets are, they weigh heavily...and just outside the Dakota Dragon dojo where he rules as top student.

This morning I tried an all-out visualization...a direct meeting of the minds. We sat Lotus-style, face to face in the dojo where he readily appears, and there I made my appeal.

I learned two valuable lessons.

1.Add Ya Laters really aren't keen on being such.
2.Venturing alone into a dojo where the quarry is an almost black belt and you never passed orange leaves one at something of a disadvantage.

By the time we parted, a sly grin on his sultry lips, I'd been laid bare and spanked soundly for my crimes--in various interpretations I'll leave to your imagination. Bottom line...he has my number, but I still don't have his.

Now that I've been left red, er, faced and empty-handed, I ponder my next move. I've always believed characters tell the story, not me, but Mak is taking the "Who's Your Master?" approach to a whole new level. I could walk away again, let things cool. But I admit he's got me right where he wants me...hopelessly entranced and dying to know more. He's got me, well, acting like an enthralled reader who is stuck at a crucial moment...with her hands cuffed behind her so she can't turn the page. Touche, Mak. Now let's dance!

Have YOU ever faced off with a character who simply wouldn't reveal themselves? Challenged you at every turn? Punished you for crimes real and imagined? Hell, answered, "No Comment" to simple matters like "Smoking or non?" "Paper or plastic?" "Dress right or left?" What did you do to lure him or her out of hiding?

Recent Favorite Line Written...Evan half knelt over Mak, cocking back a fist in a show of setting up a finishing blow. “And maybe a young man like you has a few things to learn before earning his black or in Desiree's bed.”


Aiden Phoenix said...

Lisa I think I know how you feel and I may have some ideas that you may find useful. Me personaly, I had the same problem with "Sophie" in one of my WIPs you know as "Phantoms Of Piracy", my sci fi. What I ran into was if I had already decided what kind of a deviant or misfit she could be directly reflects as to how she would sit down and reply to me if I "asked her" what she was thinking. In some cases this works to our advantage, however a direct confrontation is going to send him right into his element. While he's at the dojo you need to slip into his home find the bathroom and go through his "medicine cabnet". Never let a characher know they are being played. They only know what we let them know. They need to learn about themselves through us. He can't tell you any more about himself that you don't know already. Now that he knows, get the whip, pull out the handcuffs, and pull the info from his pedental artery cause it's on girlfriend! :) His sexual chi is the key. Find me later.

Lisa Logan said...

Ah, but slipping into his house involves knowing where it is!

Make no mistake, my characters know plenty that shocks me. I didn't even know the murderer in A Grand Seduction til nearly the end! They write better than I do, so I don't go all Charles in Charge about it...but Mak needs to throw me an, er, bone soon. Maybe you're onto something with the whip and cuffs. heh.

Mary Winter said...

Well, I've been where you are, and I must confess that I let my type-a and very direct personality come to the fore. I simply stare down my character and yell "What the F**K do you want?" I'm usually told...and sometimes told off. LOL!!!! Luckily I don't have to do that too much. :)

I've also been known to write up 20 horrible things, up to, and including death, and threaten to roll a d20. Usually that gets them talking.

Rebecca Airies said...

Been there with a dragon who wanted to keep a few secrets. Threats of mayhem and withholding goodies worked. The big guy wanted his story told and he wanted to be with his witch. That gave me an advantage. No sex scenes for him until I got what I needed.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hey, Lisa - You kind of wimped out,not telling us what actually happened, there in that dojo...! Seriously, though, if your character won't talk to you, maybe he'll spill to someone else. Put him together with another of your creations and see what happens.

Aiden Phoenix said...

Props to you Miss Winter the d20 was always one of my faves too!

Mordewis said...

If it's a character in an ongoing series, ask your readers how THEY see the character. If you already have readers, and it's NOT from an ongoing series, talk to them about the character and get some insights. Maybe they've been waiting for this guy to come along and know him already.

Amber said...

That's a great solution, Mary Winter!

Lisa - I think it's time for a sexy reporter or journalist who wants to do an article on him or the dojo to meet up with him. She may be able to get some answers out of him.

Nobilis said...

Or maybe the character is just happier as a mystery. Just because most stories are better with a varied point of view doesn't mean all stories are better with a varied point of view.

"Magical Clothes" was told entirely from one POV and I don't think it suffered at all for it.

Lisa Logan said...

Amber, funny you should mention this as the love interest is just such a sexy reporter. It occured to me this morning that perhaps SHE'S the one that should be going crazy over his secrecy, not me. ;)

Lisbet, no wimping out here...just saving a few secrets of my own as what Mak dished out WILL be appearing in an upcoming scene! muwahahaha.

And it also dawned on me that I forgot to add a Favorite Line Written in that to Edit Land now...

Schuyler Thorpe said...

I have no problems with mine--in my Zombie Nation: Outbreak Zero; for example. The only thing I wonder is if Emily will be able to break out of her self-inposed shell and begin a normal life amongst her friends and even the guy she's enamored with?

Outside of that, she's a deadly weapon in the form of a troubled teenaged girl--whom has to deal with an absent father and an alcoholic mother.