One of the coolest parts about the editing and rewrites I'm doing is that I feel almost like a reader meeting these characters for the first time. I've had a certain feel to each of the characters since I created them and, of course, those characters have changed and evolved. But then I went and wrote the words "the end." I figured that was, of course, the end of the matter, but then came the rewrites.
I've changed up some of the early scenes, putting a focus on characters that needed it and cutting lots of other scenes. Where I was focused before about making sure that everyone had equal "screen time," now I'm focused on what makes sense for the story, and that means creating new scenes to explore those facets as well a replace old scenes that didn't go anywhere. Thanks to that, I've gotten to see characters in new settings, under new conditions. I wasn't sure how they'd react when I first decided to redo these parts, but now that I'm more or less done with the rewrites, I'm looking over it and seeing so much more of these characters.
It's refreshing. It's exciting! My attention, and therefore the reader's attention, was spread too thin before and I see that now. A big thanks to all my betas and critique readers for pointing these scenes out, because now things flow better and the characters we really need to know about we get more from.
I talked a bit about making characters feel real in one of my recent posts. I think this might be the opposite end of the spectrum. See, I was worried that I didn't give EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER enough to do so I was shoving in scenes that didn't need to be there. Now, I think things are balanced a bit better. Some characters, by definition and default, will need more time to flesh out. Other characters just don't. That doesn't mean you can't make them real or enjoyable. Heck, I hope that some of my side characters end up being the favorites of readers, but I know that those side characters don't need their entire life story played out on the pages of my novel.
So, with that out of the way, I get to focus my Paladin efforts completely on editing. I'm excited because that means I'm that much closer to sending this out to agents. Which is that much closer to seeing my book on bookshelves. Fingers crossed!
Don't Forget to be Awesome!
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.