**My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is THE REVISION PROJECT. Topics I come across while I write the third draft of my novel, Uneven Lines.**
Today's post is also a tie-in for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!
used to go out with girls, if you can believe it. Like, a lot. Crazy, I know.
Most people don't stay the same over the course of their entire lives. You've probably changed a lot at this point in your life and will continue to do so as you get older. The same can be said for characters. They are supposed to be like real people after all, right? Sometimes the point of the story is for a character to evolve. But what if the characters or the story evolve without you even realizing or meaning to?
I've noticed a ton of changes from the very first draft of UL up until now. And not just the ones I made on purpose. Because there were a lot of those (and more to come). I've noticed that not only have my characters evolved from where they started, but I've also evolved quite a bit as a writer. I guess that's just what happens when you spend over five years on the same story.
My characters have changed quite a bit. In the very first draft, Jordan was basically a sociopath and was definitely bisexual (bwahahahaahaha...sorry, it makes me laugh). He's softened over the years (although he's still quite the manipulative little SOB) and although he's dated a few girls before the novel begins, it was just for show (there is a brief encounter with a girl about halfway through the book, but that is another post!). I know sometimes I complain about spending so long on the same story, but without that amount of time developing every single detail, I don't think he would have become the character he was supposed to be. He would have been a different person entirely.
When I first started this story, I thought it was the best thing I had ever written. It started as a short story (although it was a bit on the long side). Eventually I decided to change it into a novel, to be able to flesh out those parts that were rushed and add in more details. So the story was evolving from the very beginning. What I didn't expect was to eventually feel so differently about that first draft. Because now I hate it.
I'm sure most people are frightened by their first drafts. They can often be a mess. Every time I look at that original story, I cringe. I can probably count on one hand the number of lines that have made it through all the drafts untouched (and they're probably all dialogue). So why did I think it was so good at the time? Maybe the answer is that it was. Maybe it was the best thing I had written up to that point. That doesn't mean it was perfect. It just means I was improving as a writer. I still had a long way to go. What was good about it wasn't necessarily the exact words on the page, but the story they told. And that was something worth working on.
So my characters have evolved, my story's evolved, I've evolved. And I'm sure we're not done.
Have your characters evolved as you write your stories? How have you evolved as a writer?