Second Thoughts On What To Do
“Be afraid. Be kind of afraid.”
Scooby Doo uttered those immortal words in a Halloween Scooby Doo show.
When I finished my first draft, I knew I should revise it before submitting it to Beta Readers. So, I basically rewrote my story, cutting it down from 168,000 to 116,000 words. Then I went through and applied Jordan Rosenfeld’s scene types from her book, Make A Scene. I hoped to take that version to Beta Readers. I thought I could work on characterization while I waited for feedback. But…
In a discussion on Scribophile, they persuaded me to write in my characterization before pushing it out for critique.
So, I will.
I’ve used a number of different approaches to write my WIP.
I wrote my first draft, pretty much, in scene order. As I made changes, I planned them forward with notes against what I’d already written, and I did not go back.
When I resized my WIP, I planned my scene shuffles, merges, cuts and new scenes. Then I rewrote them in scene order.
But, when I got to fixing my scene types, I could have stuck with scene order. But, I didn’t do that. I decided to stick with one scene type through my WIP. That meant I went in and fixed all my action scenes. Then I moved on to dialog, then other types.
When I developed my original character arcs, I started with my MC. I defined her positive character traits, gave her some flaws, and laid out her arc. Then I added her villain / love interest, and went back to her arc to fix what his arc changed. And I kept going down, arc by arc, tweaking my completed arcs until I got all my important characters defined.
Should I use the same approach again, starting with my MC, and working my way down? Or is there a better way?
I decided to reverse the order, and start with the less important characters and working my way up to my MC.
Forty-five minor characters populate my WIP, and I am fond of a few of them. I will trace through my story, minor character by minor character. I won’t give them an arc, but I will make sure they speak and act consistently for their situation. For some of them, I might give them physical attributes which add to the story.
Eight important, non POV characters appear. I used the Positive Character Traits and Negative Character Traits to fluff up their personalities. They have rudimentary character arcs.
My four POV characters all have character arcs.
I have no idea how long this will take. The minor characters shouldn’t take long, and I should be able to add in whatever I need without upsetting things, although a few of them start to approach some of the important characters for scene numbers and lines.
The important and POV characters are different. I have extensive notes on them that, sadly, I did not refer to as much as I might. Also, I will need to finalize their speech patterns and mannerisms to make them unique and memorable. And, of course, I will save the villain / love interest and my MC for last.
How hard can that be?
It would be nice to think I could finish this before Thanksgiving.