Notes on Draft 2

close up of a notebook burning, some of the pages turned black and curling with the fire

Changing the main character has had little effect on the direction I’m taking the story. In May and June I took time to review and revise my plot. Take a refreshing overall look at my characters, individual storylines, and larger narrative. I started July confidently committed to writing five chapters or 25,000 words for Camp NaNo.

Then I threw all of my revisions, carefully re-constructed outline, and point of view annotations to the side!

After demoting a character from MC to love interest, and determining how to adjust existing chapters to different points of view… Everything I’ve written so far this month has been from the perspective of the former MC.

All of the revisions I planned were approached strategically in order to better highlight the larger story arc that affects all of the characters, reduce confusion from unreliable narration, and avoid too many time jumps.

Does my imagination care about my plans? No. I’m writing from the new outline, but still using the same character. I can’t help it. I love him. He’s shameless, and curious, and discovering so many new things!

For world building, he’s one of the best characters to write for. He grew up unconventionally and isn’t privy to common customs or even the proper way to use his own magical abilities. He hides his nervousness behind confident bravado. Now that he’s on his own he wants to be able to lead his life and make his own decisions, but he finds himself with a new system of governance. Anger stemming from the lack of autonomy makes its way to the surface. He’s tragic, complex, and beautiful! He’s my favourite character in the book.

Most of the feedback I’ve received is unanimous. They think he’s a difficult character to follow because he’s been cursed to revive after dying. Throughout the entire story, he dies several times. In the beginning he isn’t aware that this is happening, so there are big gaps in his memory. I understand why he can be seen as a poor character to use for the primary narrative.

If I’m going to keep writing from his perspective, I need to approach is carefully to ensure what happens is clear for the reader without giving away too many details. I also need to keep him in the dark about what’s happening to him until he learns the truth.

Here goes nothing.

Photo by Movidagrafica Barcelona

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