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Home » Archives » April 2007 » A Betta is a Kind of Fish
[Previous entry: "Putting the Car in your Career"] [Next entry: "It Wasn't Really a Family Reunion, But I Can't Remember What It Was Exactly"]

04/05/2007: A Betta is a Kind of Fish

So, who is the main character in your House spec? In your Ugly Betty spec? House? Ugly Betty? Are you sure?

You might be very confident that you've centered your story on the main character. After all, they've got the most scenes, and they're the one driving the story, making the choices. But if they're not the one who is changing during the story, then they may not be as central as you intended. Sometimes, during the process of breaking, re-breaking, outlining and writing, you might find that the story has shifted out from under you as you've become interested in some minor character, or as you've tried to satisfy other requirements. Without your even being aware of it, the spotlight might've moved away from your main character, leaving the good doctor in the dark.

I was fortunate enough to go snorkeling this last weekend. (Oh the fishes/ So lovely/ And delicious.) It's remarkable how your eyes are drawn to the one element in your landscape that's moving. Be it a Ugly Betty or Ugly Betta. If your main character moves -- changes -- during the story, the readers won't be able to take their eyes off of him or her. If someone else is doing all the moving, you risk having a spec that feels off-center and beside the point.

Lunch: egg salad sandwich, Fig Newtons


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