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Consider all viewpoints


Myth Weaver
As I get comments back from my readers, the most helpful critiques are the ones where I can pick out a macro area that I’m screwing up. Thanks to Ankari for pointing this one out.

BWFoster78’s Tip of the Day:

Consider the viewpoints of all your characters when writing your scene.

I think I do an okay job of getting in the POV character’s head. In fact, I may do too good of a job. For every argument, I give much more strength to his viewpoint than the others in the party. I need to give equal attention to each character.

In this particular circumstance, Dylan is given the unenviable task of being the only one in the party of four to disagree with Xan regarding the use of magic. When you read through the passages in question, Dylan comes across as weak, whiny, and not very likeable, which is not how I want him to be portrayed. Ankari figured out the reason: Dylan’s arguments are weak, he gives in too easily, and he keeps bringing it up. If I put myself more in Dylan’s head and strengthen his opinions from the beginning, the conflict will be stronger, and he won’t be nearly as annoying.

Another manifestation of this problem is that characters disappear at times. If two are having a conversation, sometimes the other two vanish for long stretches. This is okay, I think, if they have no reason to be involved, but I need to make sure this is actually the case.


Article Team
I agree. IMHO if you have people disagreeing, never use straw-man arguments. If one side is truly weak, there's really no argument to be had. IMHO Both sides must put their best arguments forward because the reader won't be fooled. Straw-man arguments are to me another form of cheating and preaching.
I tend to agree with you, if you want the character to be taken seriously, then yes, they need to make a convincing argument. However, and there are times when this is useful, having a character offer up nothing but straw-man arguments can help sell their character as whiny, bigoted, shallow, or just generally disagreeable. Clearly not something for every character, but a useful tool to have in the shop at need.