Sunday, November 22, 2009

When the inner editor says DON'T, DO!

On top of NaNoWriMo, I am taking an editing workshop. Among the other things I have learned is this; Don't Hold Back.

Here's where holding back, made my story lackluster.

My MC, Beka, actually goes through a personality change in the course of the novel. At the beginning I wanted her high strung, hard to live with. Well, my little inner editor started to talk to me; You can't have her slap him. Why would she cry for that reason? You want people to like her, don't you?

I listened. Beka came out flat, unemotional, and not interesting. When she reacted to things around it, she was so blaaaah.

I kicked my inner editor.

So for the next rewrite, I will go extreme on her. I am going to exaggerate her reactions, make her very emotional, and hopefully annoying.

Why go the other way?

Because it's easier to tone something down, than to build it up. That is the problem I face now. I would rather make a character unbelievably annoying or evil, then reign them in. Because trying to build up a character from a flat plane is not fun.

I have thought of a few traits, personality ticks that I will add to her on my next edit. But I should have never listened to my inner editor.

I recently had a scene that could have been a rape scene. My inner editor was screaming, DON'T. I walked away for a moment. Would that character actually rape? Possibly. Is it in character? Yes. Is it overkill? No. I thought. I went back and wrote. The rape never happened, but something else did. Something interesting. If I had listened to the editor the scene would have not taken the course it did.

When you write, you have to let the story take you on the journey. If you start to second guess what the story is telling you to write, you end up with a mess.

Thanks for stopping by...

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