So I’ve finished my first draft and am officially in the revision phase. From everything I’ve read, I need to step away from my work for a month or so. That’s really hard for me since this novel has taken up the majority of my waking hours over the last year.
I know my major weaknesses are Character Development and Description, so I thought I would take this time to research and learn as much as I can prior to picking up my manuscript and beginning the arduous process of revision. While I think it will be fun in a way, I have no doubt it will offer challenges as well.
When I started writing, I had a great premise and even though I didn’t do a character arc, I had a really good feel for my characters, and how I thought they should look and act. Once I started writing, I found my characters were taking on a life of there on. I know that sounds crazy, but if you’ve ever written a novel, you know exactly what I mean.
It’s like they came alive, and were leading me in the direction they wanted me to go. Some of my characters changed considerably. I must confess, I didn’t stop them. I kept writing and let things play out to the end.
What I discovered was some of the changes were good and some were not so good. I will be taking a closer look at my characters during my revision and try to figure out what worked and what didn’t for each of them.
During this process, I need to remind myself that characters are not sacred. If I need to sacrifice a character to save my story that’s okay. I can’t allow them to run the show.
This leaves me with three options:
- Make my characters play the role they were meant to play.
- Fire the ones that aren’t working and create new ones to take their place.
- Let the misguided characters continue to ruin my story.
I’m not sure if a character outline would have helped or not. They went from being the people I planned, to the people they wanted to be.
What do you think?