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(Yes, I made this beautiful picture myself.)
Something was missing from my book, but I couldn’t figure out what. After reading my story for the umpteenth time, I realized my mistake. I forgot to show the internal struggle going on inside her head. A character can be complex and likable, but if the readers aren’t inside her head, they’ll feel like the book is lacking something. (Which is what I was feeling.) I had to go through my entire story again and rewrite a lot of her internal dialogue. (Just what I needed, another rewrite…)
I know things are going to go wrong for my main character, so I started her out happy. That isn’t realistic though, everyone is unhappy about something. It’s important to show what makes the main character unhappy in the beginning of the book, whether it’s loneliness, feeling stuck in responsibilities, or whatever.
I wanted my heroes to come off as brave, but I realized that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have any fears or worries. Overcoming your fears is braver than not having any, that’s just stupidity. (Which is how my character was coming off…) So I had her put on a brave face, but added her worrying if she’d made the right choice. ‘I could die. What have I gotten myself into?’ This also raises the stakes when the character realizes how dangerous things are.
My main character had changed after all of her experiences, which is why I was having trouble with a scene towards the end. I still had her acting like the character she was at the beginning. I had to realize that something that would be out of character for her at the start would totally be something she’d do after a year with my other main character. (He’s a bit of a bad influence.)
What does your character unhappy about? Do you fix it for them or just give them more problems?
My character is lonely and wants to have friends and fit in. I don’t make it easy for her, (my poor little characters.) but I do give her a couple of friends. She’s a stronger person than when she started her journey, but she doesn’t fully accept herself yet. (She is only twelve.)