I have an unusual habit of telling my WIP, my main characters, EVEN MYSELF, exactly how my novel should play out, regardless of if anything feels off, sounds weird, doesn’t jive, or otherwise sucks all the mayonnaise. And this habit of mine, well, it’s made it so I just finished a first draft for my second novel…but it’s an absolute nightmare of a first draft that ought’ve been stopped for the sake of my own sanity instead of followed through like a deranged raccoon seeking out all the trash treats.
There’s nothing worse than finishing your first novel and finding out from your beta readers that the entire plot is predictable AF. It almost feels like there’s no coming back from that. Like, the amount of work it would take to recreate your plot into a sensational piece of work would be an unbearable misery you couldn’t possibly endure.
Just when I think I’ve learned my lesson in gung-ho enthusiasm, I realize all I’ve really learned is to call the beast by its name. Unfortunately, learning what your setback is and having the awareness to call it out doesn’t alleviate the issue, it only labels it.
And here I thought I was getting somewhere! Here I thought I’d made it through the Dunes without delay! Turns out, a rough draft the likes of which I’m trying to create is still very much a process of development and outlining. Alas, I was merely in a dip between the Dunes; an ebb and flow of the development topography, if you will.
When I first started writing novels, I wasn’t sure how to get to know my characters; in fact, I didn’t even bother. I would just start writing and see what interesting information fell out of the woodwork. But then I learned about character interviews and how beneficial it is to know all of your character’s nitty, gritty details when it comes to writing them full-bodied…
When I wrote my first novel last year, I loved the idea of being so inspired, so motivated, so ensnared by my story that I could just pants my way through the whole thing without having to do any prerequisite development and create a story that would proudly get me awarded a publishing contract on my first go around. This time, I’m calling shenanigans.
My beta readers all loved one character in particular when they read through my first novel, but if it weren’t for a moment of being mentally blocked (and bitter at the amount of effort it was taking to write my first book), I wouldn’t have explored that character at all.
After all the hard work you’ve put into creating such interesting characters, how much do you actually know about them?