Right, well, no news for me this week. But I’m good with that. No, really, I am. Patience is a virtue and one I’m slowly learning. Certainly Maisey’s 20 month wait for her Call is a fantastic lesson in good things come to those who wait. So I shall continue waiting.
In the meantime, I am wrestling with Kate. She’s my hippy heroine who now isn’t so much hippy as an architect of eco-friendly houses. And I’m wrestling with her because I am having a few problems getting a handle on her character. Does anyone else have this problem at times? Now she’s an architect instead of a protestor, her character has – naturally enough – changed and I can’t seem to figure her out. I had to change her from my FTH entry because in that story she had no conflict at all and – I have to admit – did come over as a little bit shrill. And as Alex is, in my updated story, quite a strong alpha, she does have to hold her own against him. So far she’s managing to do that but in a quietly strong way, which surprised me because I had imagined her as fiery. But no, apparently not.
One of my problems, see, is that I write myself into my characters. The more of the story I write, the more they reveal themselves. Which is great if it wasn’t for my anal-ness with regard to first chapters. I really, really like to have my first chapter as done as it can be before I write the rest of it. It’s the set-up for the whole book you see and if it’s not working, I can’t write the rest. If I have a good first chapter, then the rest of the first draft can be as dirty as it gets, that doesn’t matter, just as long as that first part is done. But if I write myself into my characters, I usually don’t know much about them in the first chapter so sometimes their character is ‘off’ and hence the first chapter doesn’t go well. You see my conundrum? So with Kate, I’m really finding it difficult to progress the story because I can’t get past my first chapter difficulties with her.
However, in the interests of progress and getting words down, I have pushed through my first chapter woes and am writing further on in the hope that Kate will stop being such a changeable little thing and settle down. In fact I often do this too, just push through. Sometimes I’ll even skip a scene that isn’t working and go on to the next one. This can work well as usually the scene I’ll have problems with either turns out to be unnecessary or different in some way that I wasn’t aware of until I skipped it.
So what does everyone else do when they have problems with their ms or one of their characters? Long wistful walks in flowing white gowns through fields of sunflowers? Cleaning the shower? Throwing yourself dramatically on the couch and declaring you’re a hopeless writer, you’ll never get anywhere and you don’t know why you bother? *puts up hand*. 🙂