This week, as I continue my revision, it’s time to analyse the characters of my novel. Are they fulfilling my expectations? Have they over-egged their role? Do they need to be tamed or are they in hiding?
With my detective head on, I’m settling in for some character profiling.
So, to my protagonists, be warned – I have the power to hurt, maim or even kill you off.
Show yourselves worthy and you can stay, but otherwise – there will be no hangers-on, no control freaks trying to kidnap my story and definitely no time wasters, who fail to add anything of value to the plot.
The challenge is to go through each and every scene, identify all characters (even those who are only mentioned briefly) and determine what each of these individuals makes me feel. Then, I must question what it is that I want them to make me feel (are you still with me?) Do the answers match? If not, do I need to ramp up the emotion, the action and the drama? Is any character trying to take over and send me in an unknown – and undesired – direction? Shall I be merciful and rein them in or should I just wipe them off the page, never to be seen or heard of again?
This is character validation in the rawest sense, and blood will surely be spilled.
It’s going to be fun (I hope!)