Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Revising Characters

It is time to revisit some old friends of mine.

You'd think after working on a novel for 7 years that I'd know these people pretty well by now. However, sometimes you don't really ask the questions that get you deep into a relationship.

When I've had critiques done of my work so far, my main character Jenna usually comes across as well-rounded. She was a little too head-strong initially, but I think I've worked some of her rough edges down.

I think Tebow is more than just a cutout

Now the male lead and her romantic interest, Derek? He's another story. I think I start off showing the differences he has compared to Jenna, but he later on blends into being whatever she needs him to be. I think I lost track of who he was. In doing so, I don't think he is very three-dimensional.

I know I love it when a book has numerous 3-D characters, people who reflect reality and could be someone you know in real life. The cardboard cutouts in a book get boring fast.

This is the right time to recognize this. I've got the whole book in front of me to show who Derek is in more depth. Why does he accompany Jenna to Thailand? What does he want?

I'm not settling for two 3-D characters either. I want to evaluate my secondary characters and see what I can do for them. One or two of them are fairly well-rounded. I'll have to evaluate that when I get to them.

I am finding that the first draft is hard to get down. The framework of the story needs a foundation, and that can be tricky for me at times. The revision seems to be going smoothly for me. Now that I see the outline, I can work on filling the meat out onto the bones. And mix my metaphors.

What do you do when it comes to creating depth in your characters? How do you beef them up in the revision process?

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