Editing and Rewriting: profiling your characters.

Chapter OneWriting and editing seems to be a never ending cycle of creation and destruction. I say it this way because when I first wrote “The Forgotten Spell,” the first book of the series, it was over six years ago. Since then I’ve completed undergraduate work and am now in graduate studies at Clemson University, and my writing has improved. I didn’t realize until I got back the first round of edits from my wonderful editor Lisanne, how really horrible the book was. One of the main complaints from Lisanne was characterization and of course mid-book slump – no action. Thus, much of what I created has to be destroyed in order to renew the story. Stories evolve too. You may find that first initiation draft does quite get the point across. Yes, my characters did sound all alike in the first book. Lisanne was right. They were individuals in my head, talking to me, but on paper their personalities didn’t come through. I have to destroy their sameness and create them all over again.

Here was some great advice from a good friend: Have you profiled the characters? Start with name, short physical description, likes and dislikes, family, personal history. Make a sheet for each main character, and maybe make a drawing. You can use images that embody your characters: Garfield, WOW, Marvel, Barbie, friends, etc. Profiles can help you position characters and round out scenes. Why does X carry a broken watch? He set the watch to the hour she died and smashed it to preserve the memory, never to forget the goal of his quest.” Mark Wilkinson was a wonderful friend who I knew at University of Alaska way back when. He is also a fantastic writer. Great advice. It has helped me quite a bit. Thanks Mark!




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