Reasons to Write a Character-Driven Story

When you hear “character driven story,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably a piece of classic literature, possibly by someone like Louisa May Alcott or one of the Brontë sisters. Perhaps you are a fan of those stories, and it kindles a convivial flame in your bosom. Or perhaps you are, like me, a person who tends to run in the opposite direction in distaste. It’s not that they aren’t good books; in fact, I quite enjoyed The Secret Garden and Oliver Twist, so they’re obviously not all hateful in my sight. It’s just that I like a complex but quickly paced narrative with adventure, humor, and a few plot twists to spice things up.

My first attempts at writing mirror this desire: action scenes start on the first page and there’s never any lull in the pace. Rereading now, I find it all phenomenally boring—and even when the constance of unrelenting motion isn’t confusing, it’s impossible to really care on anything greater than a superficial level. The constant hustle prevents any actual introductions to the characters, whose only distinguishing features are their eclectic names. I went into those stories with a plot, quickly waning enthusiasm, and…nothing else. Plot-driven stories are fantastic and all that—without plot, it quickly becomes some abstract symbolism-type speculation more reminiscent of a character study than a story. However, when plot is the only thing happening, it’s easy to simply skim passively through the story. It’s difficult to become invested, and so the reader is basically unaffected by the protagonist. This can come out one of two ways:

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Art, Formatting, and Other Shenanigans (Anthology Update)

This may end up a bit of a ramble, but bear with me.
When the last update was written (in February, no less–how time flies!) the Clam and I were still in the editing process, though she was doing more of it at that point. Now, though, we’re mostly through the editing process (only mostly because I’m a slowpoke), have cover art (thanks @/lizard_dork!), and I’m frantically doodling all the illustrations I should’ve been making six months ago.

Though our pace isn’t breakneck by any stretch of the imagination, progress is far brisker than our previous meanderings during this process. With both editors suddenly finding themselves busy with far more school than anticipated, technical glitches of the sort that always seem to happen when transferring a website, and trying to obtain funding, you can color us stressed. (What color would that be? Probably mauve, I think; not a color that I, for one, am particularly partial to.) In addition, progress on my end in particular has been hindered overwhelmingly by an incredibly painful headache that has thus far persisted for over two weeks. (Thank heavens for the existence of tylenol.)

The anthology itself is attempting to give us a headache and a half all by its lonesome. Formatting has been an absolute nightmare; it was horrible to try and make the various writing look like it had been put deliberately in its place–and that was before we began to add the drawings.

It may seem far off to us now, but publication will be happening less than a month from now. We will get this done; this project has been over a year of work on the editors’ parts, and the writers all put forth their words to make this possible–not to mention the art going into this.

If you can, please do buy a pre-order of the hardcopy in our store!