My WIP’s Third Revision
Major Characters (4)
She’s the POV in 60 of my 96 scenes.
And I have such a loooooooong way to go.
How am I doing?
I struggled, for a little while, to find her voice. I simply couldn’t hear her. I was so disappointed, especially after I convinced Liam Neeson to read one of my character’s parts. I panicked, and thoughts like, ‘What if I spent all this time on a story, building up my main character, and had no idea what she sounded like?’
What was I going to do?
I finally started with what I know about her. She is a native in colonial society. Even though she was taught their language by a priest, she learned to speak the way he did. And, for one thing, he didn’t use contractions. So, she doesn’t either.
That led me to searching through my WIP, transforming all her contractions into two words. I wound up with a lot of not and no scattered through my story. I’m not sure how this worked, but I realized placement of not or no led to some interesting sentence structures I’d not thought about. Consider a typical sentence.
I don’t want to go on a diet.
Let’s start by taking out our contraction.
I do not want to go on a diet.
That’s got a different feel to it. What if we move not to a different place?
I want not to go on a diet.
And…that suggests other possibilities. What if we did this?
I wish ever not to go on a diet.
Now, that sounds quiet different, maybe poetic.
I’ve also made some other changes. Never became ever not. None sometimes became ever not. I also decided she would end each question with a yes. And, when she’s uncertain or being polite, she often starts a sentence with perhaps. These word choices and speech patterns set her apart from the other characters.
I have two worries about this. First, is how to be consistent in her word choices and her speech patterns. Second, I’m worried this style may be too hard for readers to follow. If they rejected me because I wore them out, that would break my heart.
After some hand wringing, I took the plunge. I’ve revised 27 of her 60 scenes this way, rewriting almost every one of her lines, and it’s slow going.
What Else Am I Doing?
Since I’ve been revising POVs by concentrating on one POV until I finished their arc, I had 34 scenes complete before I started with my MC. I started with her first scene and have reached the half way point in the story. So, wondering what it might look like on a Kindle, I made Scrivener compile an epub version of my story, since it wouldn’t do a mobi version to put on my Kindle. And I used Calibre to turn it into mobi. I got butterflies when I saw my story on Kindle. Now, I need to figure out how to put a cover in. When leads me to my next worry — what am I going to do for a cover?
And, where am I going to get beta readers? Of course, I have to get up the courage to actually let someone read this. I want to hide under the bed. Ha.
So, What’s Next?
I’ve still got 33 of her scenes left. I think that will take another week, or more. Life is getting hectic and interfering just when I want to finish this revision.