You have questions. Ask away.

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This blog has long been a friendly place to come and learn, and what better way to learn than to ask?

You have questions. Writer stuff, marketing, motivation, you name it.

ASK ME

Your questions. Your challenges. Your issues.

If I don’t know, we’ll put it out to my vast network of author friends and get an answer. Or I’ll make something up.

 

Many people helped me when I was starting out because I was willing to ask what I needed to know.

That shortened my learning curve substantially.

– Dan Alatorre

So go ahead. Ask me anything.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

12 thoughts on “You have questions. Ask away.

  1. I suspect there is no definitive answer but I would be interested in your opinions Dan
    Those occasions when the writer suddenly finds they getting more out of an original minor character.
    Time to re-wind and start the story again making them the central character?
    Edit out some of their parts to put them back in their place?
    Or forge ahead moving them to centre stage and going with the flow?
    (I’m guessing the latter is easier when the story involves action, warfare etc, as folk do die)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a saying that every minor character should think the story is about them. I agree.

      Minor characters aren’t supposed to just show up and speak their lines and disappear. They are supposed to interact and be the spice in the soup. They make the scene more than it was without them, not less.

      As a result, we are often tempted to let them take a bigger role and there’s nothing wrong with that because a story has an arc just like a character does. Your main character should share the spotlight where appropriate.

      Where writers run into trouble is when they’re have so much fun with a minor character that you let them overwhelm the story. It’s very rare that a minor character can actually carry an entire story by themselves which is why they are minor characters to begin with. Where it has been tried, it usually fails. Happy days had Fonzi. Taxi had Louie. Peanuts had Snoopy. Rarely are the fun quirks of a minor character strong enough when they are by themselves at centerstage for the entire story, good enough to pull it off. Usually they are fun because they are different from the main character. When they become the main character, then they’re not different from the main character anymore and are usually not delivering a satisfying story as a result.

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Very true.
            Slightly different track
            Many years ago in the 1970s I watched a TV play in which Dr Watson was visiting a stately home for the week-end, and a murder took place, which he solved by using Holmes methods and often saying ‘Now what would Holmes think?’

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              1. In my fantasy writing I was much inspired, encouraged, influenced (chose any permutation) by the works of the late David Gemmel. In addition to his central heroic group and their protagonists he would often insert someone who would gradually grow into the story until their role was important in the action or dynamic going on between the protagonists.
                Rather than one central character I like to work with a small group (in this case three), who are constantly ‘bouncing’ off of each other, so that no one is always the alpha, particularly as they will ‘mess’ up at some stage (who doesn’t in real life?)

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Awesome! That sounds like multiple main characters or an ensemble cast, as opposed to a secondary character who steals the spotlight and attempts to be a main character in a sequel. But again, if something works, go with it!

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. I searched for advice all over on this, but I found very little on this topic. One article said one thing, and two others said the opposite. I’m writing my novel in deep POV. Sometimes my MC asks himself questions in his thoughts, such as “Why did I do that?” or “How angry can I make her? Time to find out.” These thoughts seem very normal for my MC, and rewording them either makes them sound awkward for my character or it takes me out of deep POV. Is this a big no-no, or is it okay?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If that’s how he talks, that’s how he talks. As long as everyone doesn’t do that, you should be fine. But if you wanna send a scene for us to check on, send one on over! I’ll post it and we’ll see what others think.

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