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Question of the Drama Queens???
Mac Bizzo
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 4:52 PM
Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 12

Below is a question form the historical fiction section that related directly to this section as well 

Background & Question:


I am working with a specific timeline within history but at a certain point, earth history is no longer important, toward the end if book one.  

The timeline within earth history is so easy for my character to take advantage of that its just seems too easy, for both the character and the author.


Basically the circumstances regarding earth history are poorly executed by the humans of that time period, 

the character I have from the same time period seemingly can do as they please and attend their own agenda. 




My character has to fail meeting and overcoming challenges, and not develop into a "superhero" overnight due to the lack of performance from their historical counterparts.

How do I overcome this?

- See more at: http://www.bookcountry.com/Community/Discussion/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=8589936175#sthash.xTDY2LdI.dpuf

Here is my question regarding Plot, Pacing, and Structure:

With the above in mind, the opposite is happening with the plots and subplots.  The persons within earth's history have sooooooo much drama in their lives,
there is an intense amount of these plots and subplots present, before I leave the earth timeline behind and move forward in the story. 

How can I balance the two in regard to pacing and structure? 

Ian Nathaniel Cohen
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:57 AM
Have you considered putting some of your history and background information in an appendix at the end of the book?  William Dietrich and Bernard Cornwell do this for their historical fiction works, and Frank Herbert, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien do this for their sci-fi/fantasy books.  This way, the information and context is available for those who are interested in it (I personally love stuff like that), but without it killing the pacing of your story.  For The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, rather than explaining the different historical events or nautical/fencing terms in the story (for the most part), I used a glossary to take care of this, and people have the choice whether to use it or not if they need to.  It may make it easier to balance the historical background with the subplots.

--edited by Ian Nathaniel Cohen on 1/21/2014, 10:59 AM--

Mac Bizzo
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:32 PM
Joined: 1/19/2014
Posts: 12

  this is a good suggestion thank you, in the saga, before the main character leaves earth, I have about 30 years of critical events within that characters life, before they relocate from earth, but there are crossover years; a time where the character lives and functions on both worlds. Just a bare bones functional timeline was about 5k words, do you mean to bullet these events at the end of the book? 


I am familiar with the titles above you mentioned, I will look at them again with this in mind thanks. 

--edited by Mac Bizzo on 1/21/2014, 12:33 PM--

Ian Nathaniel Cohen
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:44 PM
I've seen some appendixes that can be pretty long, so it doesn't have to be bare bones or bullet-pointed.
Jay Greenstein
Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:58 PM
Mac Bizzo wrote:

With the above in mind, the opposite is happening with the plots and subplots.  The persons within earth's history have sooooooo much drama in their lives...
Why should the reader care? A story, at its most basic level is about a problem that needs to be solved. Someone, or a group of someones need something so badly that it's all that matters to them. And for one reason or other they can't have it. It might be getting a date for the prom or saving the universe, but it is the central problem. And all subplots must serve the main plot, not take up space simply the author dreams up something for the other characters to do in their spare time.
A sub character, for example, might be falling in love with a woman he met at a bar on a night when he wasn't working on the primary problem. Unless it effects his ability to perform, and so impedes the primary plot, you don't mention it because it's of no interest to the reader.
Here's the thing: if the primary story isn't so important and interesting that the reader will object when you veer away from it for even a paragraph to talk about the other characters, you don't have a story a reader will pay to read.
Present the story, not gossip. If the drama in the other character's lives is compelling write their story next.


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