Adventures in NaNo-land – Juxtaposition

November 9, 2012 at 1:21 am (fantasy, writing) (, , , , , , , )

Character traits that distinguish a character are important, especially ones that significantly impact your storyline. It can be tempting to exaggerate those traits or over-describe them to get your point across. But there are more subtle ways of putting those traits on display, and one of these ways is via character contrast.

I don’t always use many character contrasts but The Trading of Skin seems to be rife with them, because of the nature of the tale and the foundation of the mythology. With the concept of balance in mind, there are comparisons of brother to brother with Oaván and Dáidu, husband to wife with Jaská and Osku and one form of Haldi versus another with Jaská and Lieđđi. There is even an obvious set of differences between love interests, Oaván and Lieđđi, those differences enhancing specific qualities in each character.

Some of the contrasts are direct, like in this following excerpt:

“You cannot look at her and honestly suggest that we’re from the same clan.”

That much was true. Lieđđi was as thin as Jaská was thick, as frail as the older woman was muscular. While Lieđđi was almost as white as the hide she was wrapped in, Jaská’s skin had a somewhat dusky, ruddy hue. The women could not have been more unalike unless they had been from separate species, worlds apart in appearance. And yet…

In other cases it’s just a matter of juxtaposing the two characters in a defining situation, so that their differences are obvious – a useful tool in the grand scheme of things.

At this point I have passed the 20,000 word point towards my NaNoWriMo goal and I’m almost finished my 5th chapter. I’ll be posting it to tomorrow, with a link here on Word Blurb. It’s a chapter with “mature scenes” – racy and risqué.

Until then J


  1. Christina Westover said,

    I’m ready for the risque: )

  2. chantellyb said,


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