Great Characters Tell the Story … A Writer’s Journey

Climbing the “Novel Writing Mountain” has its highs, lows, and false peaks.

However, I finished the story edit phase of the novel. The story editing phase is where I go through the entire novel and iron out all the rough spots in the plot. Finally the main plot, and the subplots, make sense throughout the entire story. This also means that I have finally reached my favorite stage of the storytelling process. I call this stage the character editing stage.

Currently my novel is 69,898 words. I expect the final novel will be between 70,000 to 120,000 words. Guessing the final length will be much easier after I finish the character editing stage. The character editing stage is where I develop character history, character dialect, style, etc. In addition, I make sure dialect and style is consistent for each character.

For example, not every character is going to use slang… or cuss… or call someone “honey.” I enjoy reading work by indie authors. But a pet peeve of mine for new/indie authors is when every character acts and sounds exactly the same. It doesn’t matter if the ebook is free or not… I get irritated quickly with poor character development.

In addition, in the character editing stage, I edit each character individually.
I go line by line in the dialogue, making sure each character has a unique voice… a unique style, etc. It appears as though I have a total of 53 characters in the story. Some of these characters do not have a line to speak. Some have just a handful of lines. I have 31 of these ultraminor characters. I anticipate it will take half a day to edit these ultraminor characters. But even the ultraminor characters will get individual attention.

Other characters are important minor characters, and of course there are a few major characters. The bulk of my character editing time will be spent on the important minor characters and the major characters. I expect the character editing process to take around two to four weeks. This process will add between 0 to 50,000 words to my current ‘net’ word total.

What are some of your novel writing tips?

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