Feed back on Bast from you, the reader. This feed back comes from the ‘Dead & Alive’ blog post from a couple of days ago.
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This is fascinating! I was ready for something unique and you have sent it to me. Thank you! This will be fun.
Bast is a strong character. I have a few questions that will need to be answered early in your book. You might want to include a few clarifiers in this piece as the foundation of her soul vs body needs to be crystal clear in your reader’s mind.
Does Bast come back into the same body every time?
The main reason I was confused about his is that I felt there were a few contradictions.
The facts that point to Bast having a new life – new body:
The way the first paragraph describes the corpse as an ‘it’. Not something that will be needed again.
The mourning over the loss of the dress. If the body goes, so does the dress.
The many deaths described would all have destroyed the body to some extent.
The facts that point to Bast having the same body throughout many lives:
The body had seen so many centuries.
The detailed description puts much emphasis on this earthly vessel.
“It is a body that has chased the dragon, and caught the tiger’s tale. This is the body that has wept over more loss of life than any one soul should be forced to endure”
The other possibility that sprang to mind is that this body was the same for many centuries but now its time has come to an end. But then that seems to contradict the fact that she knows death so well.
So, you have my attention, Hamish. I am intrigued, but there needs to be more clarification. The rules of your story must be clear and consistent and this will give your reader an understandable and stable platform to work from. Your world can be as fantastic and wild as you want it to be as long as the rules are consistent and understood.
I would also like to hand over one more general writing tip at this stage. Your voice and style is wonderful so don’t lose this, but do try to tighten your writing a bit. Make sure that every word counts. Less is more when writing a novel. Your readers are after a clear and smooth story. Keep the voice but try to streamline the information. I have shown you a few places where you might be able to do this. We will get more into this as time goes on but for now, keep this in mind as you write.
You have definitely hooked this reader, Nathaniel. I am intrigued and looking forward to more of your work.
When creating a character, it’s vital to know as much about her as you possibly can. You don’t necessarily have to use all of your knowledge directly in your writing, but just knowing her intimately will help you to create a more convincing and three-dimensional character.
You might want to answer the following questions about Bast:
In what situations is she most comfortable? Least?
How would she describe herself in one sentence?
What frightens her?
What inspires her? Hamish. Comments, questions, discussion welcome.