Change of Plans

I recently had an offer from an editor to read through my completed manuscript and tell me if there were any trouble spots. Unfortunately, he found some. Yet, as a writer, I know that his comments are true and I’m willing to go back and do… yet another… rewrite.

The editor said that by the end of chapter 3, he was quite prepared to murder the main character. This is not the first time I’ve been told this. Apparently, the other characters are fine but the main character is enough to drive a person to suicide… or murder.

I’m a serious writer, and while some people will hide in a corner and cry, I will take note and do something about it. The editor didn’t make that comment and leave it at that – he made heaps of suggestions on how to improve the character’s personality. I love those suggestions and after some discussion, I’ve decided that she will be given a complete “face lift”.

So… change of plan. I was using the snowflake process to plan a new novel but I’m now using the process on this manuscript instead. I started yesterday, and I’m onto step 3 already. This shows that I know the plot and characters well (by the way). I have to work out how I’m going to change the scenes to reflect the character’s new personality. It should be fun!

I have a positive feeling about these changes.

Moving on to Step 4

I decided to add the link to the Snowflake Process to the navigation bar to your right. It’s worth trying.

I have spent longer than I planned on Step 3 and I’m still not entirely happy with the profiles I have but I will go back and modify them later. I think I need to work out more of the plot first and Step 4 (of the Snowflake Process) will help me do just that.

I really like the process so far. It’s common sense and find plot holes before you start writing. I’ve discovered more than I bargained for and my characters have been given new personalities because the characters I had couldn’t handle the situations I intend to put them in. These revised characters will learn and grow, and I feel excited for them.

Anyway, Step 4 requires that I expand the one paragraph storyline into a one page synopsis. That will be killing two birds with one stone – I like that!

My Progress

I’m taking my time working through the steps of the Snowflake Process.

Step 1 was easy enough. I had to write a sentence in up to 15 words showing the overall story. I wrote several versions and then tailored the one that best describes my proposed manuscript.

Step 2 was much harder. All I had to do was write a paragraph showing three disasters and the ending. I realised I didn’t know the story well enough to write the paragraph so that prompted me to do some more thinking. Now I have the required paragraph, a sturdy plot, personalities for my characters, a rough chapter outline and a sense of achievement.

Step 3 is where I’m up to now. I have to do a basic character profile by writing in one sentence what the character’s storyline is (which is a different thing to the actual plot). Then I had to work out what motivated my characters, what their goals are and what they will learn by their experience in the manuscript. By doing this I discovered one of my character’s personality wasn’t strong enough and he’s been given a bit of a shake to get him motivated.

I’ve only written the basic character plan for one character. I have two more major characters and the antagonist to go but it’s not hard, it just requires some thinking.

No wonder my brain hurts today!