My WIP’s Third Revision
We give them lots of names…
If this were a movie, and the credits roll, they are waaaaaaaaaay down the list. If the movie includes little shorts of the characters with their names, these people show up in group scenes.
I have 36 of the little darlings in my WIP. Together, they made 126 appearances. Fourteen walked on for a single scene. One was on for twelve scenes.
For most of them, when I started my WIP, I didn’t even know they existed. I hadn’t made character arcs for them. So I made stuff up for them. I doubt that anyone will even notice them, but I how they add a little to the texture of my story.
So, what did I do?
I switched over to Scrivener last year, after using Word 2003 for years and years. Scrivener stores scenes as individual files. The search function brings up every scene in which the partial word, whole word, or phrase occurs. And it highlights the search item in the scene and it doesn’t go away. We can also do an in-scene search function independent of the project function.
I took my list of minor characters, and entered them, one by one. The project search function showed all the scenes. I created a collection of those scenes. Then I opened each scene, one by one, and went to the character’s first appearance.
For characters with a single scene, I looked at their contributions to the scene. I made little tweaks to their words and physical beats. I concentrated on adding just a little more texture to the scene, without going off the deep end.
With characters occurring in multiple scenes, I took advantage of the opportunity to do more. I developed continuity in their characters, keeping their speech patterns and interests consistent. Some characters had several scenes and enough face time in their scenes to develop rudimentary arcs.
Where scenes had multiple minor characters, I resisted the temptation to work all the characters at once. Instead, I worked on just the character in question.
How am I doing?
I tweaked 57 of my 96 scenes, and added 355 to my WIP. And I am up to 128,336 words.
So, What’s Next?
I have nine important characters and four POV characters to blend into my WIP. When I started this project so many months ago, I laid out my plot line and then created my MC’s character arc, and tweaked my plot line as I needed. After that, I created more character arcs, and tweaked my existing character arcs and plot line as I needed.
After that, I created character bibles. Then I wrote my scenes, staying reasonably close to my character descriptions…almost. In revisions one and two I concentrated more on bringing the story line to where I wanted it. I paid less attention to character arcs.
So…I must fix that.
And I already know I must fix my arcs. When I revised my Epiphany Scene, I struggled. I didn’t have a good handle on how she changed. So, after all this time, I still don’t understand what my story is about.
I confess to being worried…
…and hope I hope I can fix my story…
…before I get tired and give up.