Thursday, May 21, 2009

The day my character came alive

A strange thing happened today.

The main character in my work-in-progress novel just came alive. And it turns out that she is 15, not 12 and she has straight dark brown hair, not light brown frizzy hair, and she's short, not tall.

I have to say, this is a little weird.

I have written almost 60,000 words and while many things have been falling in place, there was something that was holding me back. I was getting the plot points, seeing where the story was going, developing conflicts, figuring out resolutions. But all the while my main character felt a little off: stiff, not quite real to me.

Then today while polishing off my second cup of black coffee and eating my new favorite not-so-healthy breakfast (garlic naan with cream cheese, Turkish aleppo pepper and cherry tomatoes) how she should be was so apparent that my hands started to quiver with anticipation of typing it all down. I don't know where she has been hiding, but now that she's here it feels like any of my residual reservations have fallen away.

This is going to necessitate some changes to the rest of the book--now I think it is pretty clear that this will be YA, not middle grade so the voice will have to be tweaked and some of the relationships rewritten. But this doesn't sound overwhelming--with her here beside me, it sounds like fun.


Shana said...

Reading your description of how she came alive for you gave ME chills. That's awesome -- bravo.

tree town gal said...

chills here too... very excited for you... and for us, your readers!

Jen said...

Congrats, Kate. I always find it fascinating when a character takes over.