I spent a gloriously frustrating, and rewarding two weeks with the main character of my WIP. I cared a great deal for him, and all his faults and redeeming virtues. So much, in fact, that he became my glaring blind spot.
He was hurting the story and I didn’t even know it.
I began this novel in early April of 2013, and since have been sweating and toiling over it. The supporting characters have bleed and morphed. The story structure has shifted and grown. But the main character has remained steadfast. Like a rock. A dull lifeless rock. But I loved him, and I didn’t see it.
I thought he was the strongest part of my story. I built things around him.
I was wrong.
The thing is… I didn’t know I was wrong, until this nagging little plot thread kept waking me up. I didn’t think it would work with my character… he would NEVER do that. The problem was, that it needed to happen for the STORY. I just moved around it. Then one day I hit a dead end in my edits, and I thought… what kind of guy WOULD do that? How would he get there? How would this story be different if it where his?
*facepalm* I mean what the hell have I been doing?
Square peg. Round hole.
I am so happy that I have stopped forcing my character to be this unnatural guy, and let him be human. Really human.
This post may not make much sense… but it’s late, and I’ve had a long day at the keyboard. My point is this… killing your darlings sometimes means letting them grow. Evolve in ways we may at first resist. Try not to hold on too tightly to what you think they are… if you do, you may miss out for a long while… like I did.
Some days it seems that I learn something new everyday I write. That is part of the fun though… yeah?
Happy writing, friends!