I’m a little over half way through the revision process of the book I’m working on and dreading the next few weeks.
The first half of my novel flows. I love what’s happening and I love my characters. They all work together to accomplish what I need them to, but then it starts to get ugly.
I’m sure you’ve heard that once you start writing, your story can take on a life of it’s own. Well that happened to me with the introduction of a new character. She took on a life of her own, stole the plot, and didn’t stop until almost the end of the story.
She did help in one area. She filled in the middle and carried me to the end, but I’ve never really liked the character, and I question where she went. She was nice, smart, and likeable, but she totally disrupted the flow, and I allowed her to. I lost sight of the ending I had planned.
I have read through my manuscript many times. I hesitate and play with this character and the events perpetuated by her existence, every single pass through.
I’ve finally accepted the fact that she needs to go. If I’m not comfortable with the character and her role in my story, It’s bound to come across to my readers. It’s time to cut my losses and move on.
This of course means a lot of work for me. I can salvage some of scenes she is involved in by replacing her with existing characters that can fill the role, but I am still cutting about 25,000 words and reworking the latter part of my book to follow the path that I originally outlined.
I’m sure I’ve made a million novice mistakes that brought me to this point, one of the major ones was to give an unplanned character free reign over my manuscript. I allowed her to walk in the door and take my story to places it should have never gone.
I was amazed and thought, how great is this, my story is writing itself. Well in some instances that might have been a good thing, but in my story, it definitely was not. Some may consider it a great exercise in creativity to let a rogue character take off with your story. I would say as long as it’s controlled and she/he isn’t in a free fall. You have to maintain control.
What do you think?