My manuscript is progressing. Right now I have about 13,000 words, and my modern-day heroine has been successfully kidnapped by a folktale queen.
I like this book quite a bit. My ability to control a story--cutting, adding, and changing in order to achieve the desired effect--has increased significantly in the last year. It’s exciting to be able to do things that that I didn’t use to be able to. I still struggle to achieve the layers of richness and nuance that I would like, though, so I clearly have a lot of work and learning ahead.
One interesting question that the class has raised is whether an author needs to "love" their protagonist. It seems that most of my fellow classmates do feel deeply attached to their main character. I like my heroine, but I don't know that I love her. Is this because I don't delve deeply enough into her personality? Is it because I keep her at (too much of) a distance from myself? Is it because I won't know her fully until I finish the book? Is it because I just don't attach as easily as some people to fictional creations? I'm not sure yet.
I submitted the first six pages in my novel-writing class, and look forward to receiving the teacher’s critique tomorrow (so far all feedback has been through peer-workshopping, which always raises an interesting variety of opinions).
My current plan for the novel is to begin each chapter with a brief quotation from a historic folk/fairytale. Each quotation relates to the events of the chapter. The use of quotations seems to draw forth a mixed response from my fellow students, so I’m curious: do you (intelligent readers of my blog) like quotations at the beginning of chapters, or do you find them annoying/pretentious/something else?