Taking a break from Promotion, Book 11 in the Metatron’s Army Series. I wrote most of the first draft of the series last summer. An interesting thing happened on the way to the finish. I took some of the story in a different direction.
As I went back and edited books 8, 9, and 10, I ended up taking some of the characters – and the storyline – in a different direction.
The change revolved primarily around character development.
The format of this series – where each book is like a chapter in the main character’s life – allowed me to highlight the emotional and psychological transformation that enabled the character to become who she needed to be. To have just jumped in where she already had all the education and experience would have left out far too much and made for a bland story and characters that lacked depth.
For book 11, I’m merging the older files with newer ones, knitting scenes together. In doing so, it has become glaringly apparent that in the original drafts, the main character – due to my having truncated a few things – isn’t where I need her to be.
In cutting a good part of the adversity she had to face, I left her lacking the emotional center (strength) she needs.
The fix – grabbing the best of each scene and knitting them together – is easy yet tedious.
The tedious is why I need a break. It’s almost mind numbing.
It isn’t just the main character that has changed over the past year. As a writer, I have evolved.
As my series and my characters have.
I’ve gained experience (and education) from all the blog posts I’ve written, the other books I’ve published, the nonfiction stuff, the interviews – and life.
I’ve evolved as a reader as well.
The stuff I used to find entertaining now leaves me rolling my eyes. I frequently find myself thinking, “Women aren’t that dumb.”
This was a bit disconcerting. After all, I used to find the stuff entertaining. You know, able to suspend disbelief long enough to go along for the ride? This bothered me until a friend explained it like this:
I used to think the Backyardigans was so cool. It was – then. I’m older now.”
Rather than attributing it to age alone, however, I also considered the role experience and education plays in how we view the world.
Which circles back to why the old scenes didn’t match up with the evolved, stronger character.
The basics of what I enjoy reading have remained the same. What’s changed is the caliber of material and excellence I expect.
It’s the same level of excellence I strive to deliver.
I think it’s time for a music break. I’ll pick up the knitting needles tomorrow.