A few posts ago I wrote about how I loved torturing my characters in To Kill Your Darlings. This is still very much true, alas my poor characters haven’t found any relief from the capricious God like events that come flying out of my fingers.
I’ve just finished an edit on my very first fantasy novel. This manuscript has been sitting dormant for some time, waiting until I finish my romance trilogy. Because I’m trying to focus on completing the projects I started first. I know strange concept, right?
Anyway, here I am editing this manuscript that I haven’t looked at in at least three months. Okay, six months. It was sitting patiently waiting for me to work on it again, and when I read it I thought, “Wow. There isn’t any horrible stuff happening to you guys, is there?”
Sure, there’s plenty of bad things happening around them, their families were cursed centuries ago, and the characters are dealing with that fallout. But nothing ‘bad’ happens to them directly. Which is odd for me, because I’m horrible to my characters.
I can only imagine that my first foray into fantasy and in writing in the third person distracted me, but I doubt it. Then I came to the conclusion that I was putting off making bad things happen to these newly formed, fresh people because they trusted me to take care of them. I did. They struggled, sure. They fought and clawed their way through, the evil enemy is still lurking for books two and three, but for the three main characters, things turn out alright.
I held off on hurting them because they were new, whereas in my other series I knew how much my characters could take because they have been in my head a lot longer. Perhaps this is a lesson for me in character development, or just that I need to focus on this manuscript and this world for a period of time.
Either way, I’ve got to hurt them, and it’s stopping me from making this good book, great!
How do you feel about this? Have you put something aside because you couldn’t hurt your characters, or did you stop working all together?
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