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Old Sep 13 2011, 01:17 PM   #17
D. M. Domini
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chicagoland
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Fan of: Afra Lyon, and Robinton!
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Default Re: Novel Revision/Editing

Originally Posted by mawra View Post
When I first wrote my story my main person was too perfect. She accepted what ever happened without questions ect.. When I did the rewrite she got hystarcal after her first fight that she killed someone as well as a few other things.
I've done this. That is, made a character that was too passive, then on the next revision made him more hysterical.

One thing that hits me about this sort of writing progression is how we like to criticize Anne McCaffrey for turning The Rowan and Lessa into harpies once their "time in the lime light" is done. The question I ask in my mind is...why did she do that? What was her motive?

So I have a theory that a common form of writing progression is this:

A) Make a character that's a passive door-mat
B) Over-compensate on rewrites so the character is knee-jerking like a patient under the doctor's reflex-hammer
C) Pull back, figure out what you actually intend for the character, and fix it to a happy medium between reactionary and a character readers find empathy for.

Newbie authors do A. Experienced writers do B. Master writers do C. And most writers are sort of on a sliding scale between these three points.

That's my theory at least. I'm doing loop-de-loops around B; I find myself quite frequently editing for both less passivity, and also to fix it when I go too far the other way. I don't do C nearly as frequently (or automatically) as I should. It's an area I want to grow into.

Edit: Ginny, kindan - glad my big wall 'o text helped somewhat.
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