So I was talking to a good friend/crit buddy of mine last night. We are both reworking old novels that have been sitting for several years and we are both just jumping out of skins excited at how our revisions are turning out. Apparently, even if you love a book like it was your own child, letting it sit for a year or three gives you a bit of prospective. I have been slashing away like you wouldn't believe....about 30,000 words so far. In fact, other than the characters and the basic story line, most of the story is brand new.
But we started talking about how I miss some of the scenes between my MC and her love interest but that I just couldn't keep them because the scenes no longer fit the dynamics of their relationship (they were very tender, gushy...love them, but their relationship has more of an edge to it now - there's more mistrust and other stuff going on instead of just straight 'OOOO I LOVE YOU SO MUCH' stuff).
And then we talked about how much I love the new scenes between them. And she pointed something out.
I still know about those scenes that are no longer in the book. Those scenes show how my characters really feel about each other - they show the emotions my characters can no longer afford to show. And all of that comes through in the new scenes.
It made me realize that THIS is probably the reason people do character sketches and fake interviews and bios or character bibles. I've never done one...never wanted to. I get to know my characters through writing them. BUT I have a tendency to let inconsistencies in their makeup slip through. I'm getting much better at catching that (and this is something that I've learned over the last year so it wasn't present when I wrote the first 100 drafts of this novel) :D (p.s. thanks Elana and Christine) :D I'm hoping that I'm just getting better at staying true to my characters...not that it will take several years to really get to know them every time. Because that could be a problem LOL
However, now, when I'm going through reworking these scenes, I am staying true to my characters and who they really are. I'm not forcing them to react the way I want them to react. When I first wrote the book, I wanted a story where they guy got the girl and they stayed together totally in love, totally trusting, through the whole book. But that's not only boring, it just doesn't fit the way real people are....and certainly doesn't fit who my characters are.
Rewriting these scenes and letting my characters' true natures shine out is just unbelievably exciting. *happy sigh* It's moments like this that really drive home to me why I do what I do :)
How about you? Have you ever tried to force a character to do something he/she/it just wouldn't do? Do you have trouble staying consistent? And do you do character sketches, etc before writing? I'm still not sure I have the desire to do one, but I can definitely see it's merits.
And how are my fellow NaNoers doing? I got my goal in last night so I am now up to.....