It’s All About the People

I’m reading a really good book at the moment.  Leviathan Wakes by James Corey.

One of the reasons I’m enjoying it so much is that I feel like I found a kindred spirit: “Corey” writes about the people, not the things.  The dialogue is good, full of natural wit and manner, and “his” people are the real reason for the story, against a set piece of science fiction.Reading books like this gives me a happy – it’s what I tried to do with Night’s Favour, where lycanthrope is almost accidental to what happens to Val and his friends.

It’s important to remember that — in my writing today (1,600 words!) — I tried to bring some of that forward.  Even with the little people.  Mason, the story’s main protagonist, doesn’t start off as a particularly nice human being.  Competent, sure.  Witty in places, fine.  But he’s just generally a bit of an asshole.  Today’s writing was set against a corporate backdrop of people who aren’t important to the story, not really, except in the way that I can show that Mason is an asshole – and what kind of asshole he is.

Even so, it would be easy to try and let those unimportant people be one-dimensional.  But then, I think of Corey, and I remind myself: no, this needs to be authentic.  Even if we never see them again after this chapter, they need to be fully formed.

It’s hard, but it’s fun as well.  It’s more work than you expect it to be, but hard work doesn’t hurt – especially when the outcome is all the sweeter for it.

Progress 20130819

See you tomorrow.

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