I am still editing characters for my novel. I want characters that are memorable… and I want a plot that moves people. For the characters to be memorable, and a plot that is moving, then the characters really need to pop. This is probably why character editing is my favorite stage in the novel writing process.
Nearly a month ago, a character began following me. Well now this character has a name… and a friend. Unfortunately for me, this friend is a genius. I am not stupid, but writing a genius is a little intimidating.
After I finished my initial panic, I did a quick google search, which revealed the following sites:
I think my main concern is the level of research I will need to do, just to make my genius come off as a genius. No, I’m not talking about inventing a time machine, although that would be badass! But reading up on all the cool, yet complicated, theories that my genius would know about is going to take a lot of time.
I don’t need to fully understand physics… but I need to make it look like my genius character is a master of physics. I am nervous about making a very basic mistake. Kind of like, on a more simple level… if a woman is writing about male behavior in a public restroom. A woman might make a very basic mistake of thinking men in public restrooms talk to each other. Generally, men do not talk to each other… and men try to avoid eye contact in public restrooms. Very basic, but because a woman does not use the male restrooms on a regular basis, women would not know this.
I do not engage with physics on a regular basis.
How to write a genius character… sigh. I can do mentally troubled characters… men and women… violent, funny, thoughtful… scared. But I’ve never tried to write a genius character before.
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?
A few weeks ago, a character I did not recognize began following me.
At the time I knew very little about this character. Things have changed. I now know the character’s gender, name, age… some of her motivations.
But this process is annoying. I am a writer. But working on two projects at once is a bit much. I have finished my outline for this “mystery character’s” story. But I am still elbow deep in my “current” story. But this new character will not stop following me. Continue reading Part Two: A Character began Following Me … A Writer’s Journey
Creepy? Not really. Annoying? Very. Maybe this is a good thing… but it is very distracting. I am currently committed to writing a novel, and committed to the characters in that novel. I don’t know the name, gender, or age of this figure. I can only tell you this figure is human… and began following me the other night. So yes… my next story idea is already brewing. But it is difficult to focus on my current project while this new character is stalking me… Continue reading Last Week a Character began Following Me … A Writer’s Journey