Revising Characters – Ooops…I Had Her All Wrong
A Blinding Epiphany
Lightning struck last week with my most important non-MC character, Mera.
I had put her through a lot of bad things.
Things like her murdered father dying in her arms, fleeing through a city convulsed in riots with a guy she only just met, a kidnapping and escaped a fate worse than death by a last second rescue. After that, the MC tried to force her into a role in his grand plan…without asking. And…she’s struggling to keep her feelings to herself because she and the MC grew up in different religions.
I opened the scene immediately following all this, ready for her to react.
And she did. She was…
And then the skies crackled and a bolt of lightning crashed down, deafening and blinding me.
By the time I calmed down and recovered, I’d relived several of my own experiences. Annoyed? I could do no better than that?
And an almost overwhelming temptation seized me to take the story in an entirely different direction…to make it about her, and her journey back to sanity. Except…I’d drastically changed the story direction once, and I’ve sweated blood and tears over this version. I wrestled with my urges. And, though I nearly gave in…I didn’t. But I expanded the scene and allowed Mera to react with remarkable restraint, considering everything she’s experienced…but keeps enough of an edge to let the MC knows she isn’t alright.
And, in so doing, I discovered a new theme that should last her for the rest of the series, adding depth and dimension I had little suspected.
But…I promise to never make her a victim. She deserves better than that. In fact, were I starting this over, she would become the main character. Except…with my first serious WIP, Deheya, the MC waits quietly on a shelf. And I’m trying to write a different woman. I’d wanted someone quiet, but Mera has a fiery streak to her. Besides, I need to learn to write guys, and put a series together.
So…sorry Mera. While I like you bunches, I love Deheya. Deal with it.
And Mera, the character, has proven difficult for me. I have struggled to physically hear her voice, unlike the main character from my first serious WIP. And I’m running out of chances for her to sit beside me and read her lines. I hope she speaks to me, soon.
But…I finally discovered who she looks like…I’d originally wanted a young Olivia Hussey. But, while looking for another character, I found Mera. And, when we make the movie, I intend to pester Mr Spielberg until he gives Keira Knightley the role.
And a good bit of news…I finished Mera’s arc, adding another 5,600 words. The story has grown through 86,000 words.
Next time we will discuss revising main character.