Last week I wrote a post promising to tell you how my two main characters in my current WIP changed my mind, and then I proceeded to tell you about my journey into the world of writing instead. Well, I'm going to finish the story now.
As you may recall, my current WIP is actually the second part of a story I wrote several years ago. This story was based on a dream, and this dream occurred in chapters. In the last chapter of my dream, my main character was a bitter old woman who had missed out on happiness. So, when I wrote the original story, I wrote this character with that image in mind. I knew she was going to end up miserable, therefore I didn't want to like her very much. While she started out okay, as the story progressed I increasingly made her do bad stuff, until she reached the point of being about as lovable as a wild boar (Yes, horrible comparison, but it's three in the morning). I had to make people hate her, or else they'd just feel horrible in the end because she lost the guy and ended up all alone.
When I decided to break the story into two books, I realized that I needed to add more depth to my characters. I wanted to find out what made them tick. Why did they choose to do the things they did? What did they want out of life, and what were they most afraid of?
What I discovered with my female destined-to-be-a-hag character was that she was pretty much terrified of everything. She wanted to be loved, but didn't feel worthy, and she craved acceptance. As I wrote in these vunerabilities, which are equally matched by her male counterpart, I started NOT hating her. I sympathized with her.
Then I began to tailor the story around both of my characters' flaws, which meant the story got a lot longer, but also more interesting. I shared experiences with them; worrying in times of trouble, feeling proud over their selfless acts, and being downright joyful when things came together in the end. I fell in love with my characters!
Of course, this next book is the continuation of that story. This is the part where my female character is supposed to turn wicked. The problem is now that I know my female character, and love her, I just can't do it. Well, I take that back, I can a little. But not for the sake of making me hate her. It's because she still has an issue to contend with, and until she "gets it" there's going to be trouble. But, the difference is that she WILL eventually "get it." She's convinced me to save her from being a miserable old hag, and my male MC is pretty happy about that too.
Oh! I want to let those of you who read, "My Writing Journey," know that somewhere in this second book I'm going to sneak in a unicorn. ;) Kat. Really! However the setting will remain on Earth.
Monday begins the, "My Writing Journey," blog series. My guest blogger is Anne Patrick. Anne's book, Journey to Redemption, releases on Sept. 15th.