Writing process

Can you tell these characters apart?

Here Melbourne winter is coming into spring.  It’s warming up, or it should be, and in general the weather is getting better, but I have to say it’s been so cold lately that instead of sitting at my desk to write I’ve taken the little Go (Microsoft Surface) into the kitchen and sat at the table.  There’s a heater vent just underneath.  Only problem is, the heater thinks it’s coming into spring, too, and turns itself off after a while.

My fingers are frozen as I type this.

We’re getting some exercises ready for a full-day course on writing that we’re running in November at the Victorian Writer’s Centre (VWC), here in Melbourne.  (If you live in Melbourne, and want to fine-tune a manuscript, check it out on the VWC website. It’s on the 9th November, and it’s called First Draft: It’s all in the Details.)  This is editing beyond the major structural edits down into line edits.  Really trying to tidy up your story.

One topic we plan to talk about is whether you can tell your characters apart.  We’re not perfect, we know, but like most writers, we try.

So, as exercise, if you’ve read our books, can you tell whose point-of-view we’re in for the following paragraphs.

Character one

Santos Greene wore a company of starched green, with shiny lapels that had been fashionable two years ago. His skin was an even olive that blended with the cloth, like an Antares chameleon, and blended in turn with the grey-green wall behind him.  Even his eyes were green, although a deeper shade, and one eye was slightly darker than the other.  A neat mod, except for the mismatched eyes.

Character two

“Even his cartel master wanted to get rid of him, so he sold the contract to Lady Lyan, and now she can’t get rid of him either.  She’s tried.  Grand Master Rickenback came out to see him and try to get him back into the cartels, but Cartel Master Rigel wouldn’t take him.”

They’re a tad clumsy, sorry, but hopefully you’ll recognise them.