Less Than a Week

And it’s all starting to come together and it’s all starting to fall apart…

At this week’s NaNoWriMo prep session on Saturday I was looking over my outline and story notes and realized that I had to make a major change – not in the outline, but in the personality and back story for one of the main characters.  The way the story has developed, her original version just didn’t work anymore.

Yes, folks, less than a week to go and I am scrambling to create an entire new history for one character along with still scrounging names for races and organizations and places and…

Deep breath.

At least I discovered the need to make the change before I started writing, courtesy of my outline and the character development exercise that I am doing.  (The last time I had a character make this kind of change on me was my first NaNoWriMo and I was working without an outline and the character had a complete alignment change halfway through the book, which is one of the reasons why it hasn’t been edited yet – it needs an almost total rewrite.)

(That character development exercise, by the way, has given me a great deal of insight on my main character. I’m still struggling to find her voice, but I understand her a lot better now and am even starting to like her.)

But back to the problem at hand: Luz.

She’s a spoiled little rich girl.  But unlike the cliché of spoiled little rich girl who becomes sweet and caring, she’s still a spoiled little rich girl at the end.  She’s a taker and a faker and more than a little two-faced and a definite snob and she is going to be so much fun to write.

But there is no way that Taliya, my main character, would ever have formed a relationship with her.

When I originally started planning this novel and developing the characters, Luz she was a good person: she got thrown out of her house and disowned for going against her parents’ way of thinking and standing up for a slave that they were going to either beat or kill, sustaining a serious injury in the process. (Yes, it’s sci fi, but rather dystopian.)  This made her a great partner for Taliya –their shared values gave them a common ground… it made sense for Taliya to be attracted to her.

But as the story and the character development proceeded, Luz underwent a change. I’m not sure how or where or when it happened, but she became jealous and vindictive and cold and calculating and cruel.  She also turned out to be a bigot and a classist.

In short, she became everything that Taliya isn’t, and everything that Taliya stands against.

I can’t just eliminate her from the novel – her relationship with Taliya is an important part of the story and plays a large role in the inciting incident.  But in order for that to happen she can’t be the bitch that she has become. (Where’s the Excedrin?)

I suppose I could just have her be a lost love type of thing and not actually bring her into the story at all… Except that creates a domino effect that destroys at least two, maybe three, other plot points, not to mention ruining my idea for a possible sequel.

Or maybe I can find a way to keep the original version of Luz.  It would make more sense relationship-wise, and it would also make for better tension and for a bittersweet ending.

But this version is so much more fun!

I think that what is going to end up happening is that I’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out in the writing.

Or write two or three different versions and see where they take me.

Or scrap this story and write something else…

I have time…

Right?

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3 Comments

Filed under writing

3 responses to “Less Than a Week

  1. This reminded me of the very first book I ever finished, where a character that was only supposed to be a minimal part in the story ended up becoming an extremely entangled, sub-character that I couldn’t get unattached from my main protag’s hip if I wanted to! Coincidentally, I’d wanted her to be a betrayer, mostly from jealousy, but I just could not get her to cooperate. It was a struggle, but when I stopped fighting against the natural evolution of her personality, I was much happier with the end results.

    I hope your Luz reveals just how well she fits in your story while it’s unfolding for you – Good luck on NaNoWriMo!

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