I am going spare trying to figure out the characters of my new submission. The editor has asked me to do character bios of each of them in an effort to get me to focus on characterisation and it’s driving me crazy! I think I’ve got my hero figured out but my heroine refuses to play ball. I have no idea why I can’t write her but it’s incredibly annoying. Why are women so difficult?? 🙂
Anyway, for those of you thinking the editor is gently holding my hand, no she is not. She called my heroine childish and immature, not to mention unnattractive. No words have been minced there. The really irritating thing is that the ed is right. I don’t think Cat is like that in the partial but the fact remains that her conflict is only half thought out. Which is my fault.
It wasn’t all bad. She liked some of the actions my characters took (which is solely down to Michelle S’s expert advice) and she really liked the central theme. Which is why, I’m assuming, she is giving me the chance to do this story but with fully-fledged characters.
So, I have sent her some more ideas about the backgrounds for both characters and she said she’d get back to me with tweaks. Haven’t heard yet but since then I’ve gone through yet another set of ideas for my heroine. I am now officially sick of her.
The problems I’m having though are mainly because of the way I write which is writing my way into my characters. They have a half thought of background when I start but I don’t know really what they’re all about until the end. And that is not working for me clearly. I need to know all about them from the first page. I need to forget about the external conflict that brings them together and start from a core of internal conflict, building the rest of the character around that. And I need to do that before I start writing because working backwards like this is very, very hard. It’s hard because I’m desperate to keep some of the things the editor liked but I’m not sure, given my heroine’s new background, whether she would still act in the same way. And if I’m not sure, then she probably wouldn’t, which means I’ll probably have to change those bits. Changing bits the editor liked is NOT easy but then again, acting unbelievably is one of my heroine’s main failings so therefore I have to change them. Argh!
Okay, I’m now officially, officially sick of my heroine and am going to take the day off her. Big hugs to all of you who got the dreaded R from the competition. Remember an R does not mean you or your writing sucks. It just wasn’t the right story.