I’m feeling a little sad at the moment. I finished Chapter 29 of my WIP yesterday and I had to do something to one of my characters that I didn’t enjoy at all. No, I didn’t kill him. What I did seemed worse somehow – but I’m not going to say what, because I don’t want to give it away. Let’s just say that even my ‘baddy’ felt remorse after he’d done it. He’s not going to recover before the end either. There’s not time.
He’s not real. Why do I feel so awful?
It’s funny how stories twist and turn away from what you originally intended. I’ve read lots of advice about planning novels. Many authors seem to think that they can’t start a novel without having their characters described in detail and every chapter mapped out. I can’t work that way. No matter what I think is going to happen, it doesn’t turn out the way I thought. All I have to start with is a vague network of things that might happen and a head full of ideas to hang on it.
When I first started this novel, I imagined this character as being the hero of the piece (though not the main character). He was just the person to save the day. But as I got going, that seemed too predictable, especially as the story involved a prophesy that pointed directly to him (and here I should say many thanks to Luc for helping me with that, too). So he had to go…Or did he? Is it still possible he might turn out the hero? I’m hoping I’ve added enough of a decoy to surprise people, to leave them wondering who actually was the hero in the end.
This is probably the part of story writing I love the most – this nutting out the problems in a plot that turn it from a straight story into a web of intrigue that will hopefully keep people turning the pages. I’m sure there are still glitches in this draft. After all it’s only the first. I know I need to condense the first six chapters into three. In fact I can probably cut some chapters altogether. There are things I need to foreshadow better, characters who can be more three-dimensional at the beginning now that I’ve got to know them.
Before that though, I have two or three more chapters to write…and I still don’t know exactly how the ending is going to happen. I know what’s going to happen, just not how. I started this book in March, so it’s the quickest first draft I’ve ever done. But the best part is how much I’ve enjoyed writing it. I’m almost loathe to finish it, because then it won’t be there to do any more.
Of course, there’s always the chance of a sequel!