I just got Sanchin back from my sister who read it and gave feedback. As a non martial artist she couldn’t allay my greatest fear – will I get slated for the MA scenes? But she did understand the way I handled the MA terminology and nothing jumped out at her as being unrealistic. So that’s one major concern out of the way.
On the whole, her impressions were favourable and she gave me some excellent advice on how to tighten it up here and there and pointed out what remained of the typos and other nasties that my brain seems happy to ignore.
The only real shocker was turning the page to see the words SENSITIVE WIMP!!! pencilled into the margin.
Not that the shock should have been that great. Yes, Tristan is sensitive, and he is a wimp – but an upper case and three exclamation marks sensitive wimp?
Naturally, I phoned her straight away only to discover that, although she didn’t dislike Tristan, she found him annoying and didn’t think she could be friends with a person like him. She said he was too nice and he always seemed to land with his bum in the butter. Oh dear!
That made me realise that my characters may not come across to others the way they do to me. Now, you could say that’s just bad writing, but we all see the world through eyes that are clouded by our own experience and I think that must have at least some influence.
Now I’m left with the dilemma of whether to toughen Tristan up a bit, or make his life just that little bit harder.
I always intended him to be sensitive and a bit of a wimp, but never an unsympathetic one.
Yesterday, I posted about an excerpt of a novel that had a profound effect on me. Well, Sam, the main character in this novel, couldn’t be further removed from Tristan if they lived on different planets.
Interestingly, having read part of Sam’s story, I was left with the feeling that Tristan is a bit of a spoilt brat. So to read the words SENSITIVE WIMP!!! sort of hammered that home. Maybe Tristan does need a kick in the pants.
Anyway, on the subject of Sam, I emailed the author of the novel and she has given permission for me to post the link to the excerpt.
The novel is Freefalling and it’s by Laura Jarratt. You can read it here. It’s excellent – check it out.
If you would like to compare and contrast Sam with Tristan you can read the first nine chapters of Sanchin here.