I’ve been making steady progress on my novella these past couple of weeks. It will need some editing after the first draft, but nothing like Hunted in Shadow. I haven’t been playing with HiS. I’ve kept my hands off, but the story and its problems are there, a splinter in my mind that won’t give me any peace. I’ve been throwing “Well maybe…” emails at my CP so often, I’m sure I’m driving her totally zonko. She’s just too polite to say so. I’ve had dozens of random thoughts and ideas about it–most of which involve my brain running like a hamster on speed–round and round in circles and not making any real progress. Most of them involve changes that are very clearly a symptom of Complicatitis–my desire to do more with my heroine to give her an internal character arc. Except none of the ideas I have really fix that problem. It just gives her more external circumstances to deal with and react to.
I need to find a way to give her a character arc within the story I have, not by totally overhauling it and chucking the same characters into a very different plot. Why do I want to do that? Well, because right this second, I see very clearly all the flaws, and I’m having a hard time loving my book. It’s not that it can’t be fixed. It’s not that it’s a bad story. There’s a lot good about it. I just can’t see that right now. It’s like how when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the tiny waist or great hair–I see the jiggly thighs and the arms that need more definition. And for HiS, the jiggly thighs are the lack of Marley’s internal character arc. It’s hard. I’m not sure why it’s hard. I have the internal stuff nailed on my hero. His character arc is pretty solid. So why have I made everything external for my heroine?
I guess it’s further proof that even after 65k, I’m still not truly in my heroine’s head. This is obviously a problem.
I’m supposed to be an ex-shrink for pete’s sake! I’m supposed to excel with the internal stuff. But I don’t. A quick survey of the stuff I’ve written over the last…decade I guess…shows that I’m all about having stuff happen to characters to which they react and respond. It’s always external circumstances that spark everything. My how that makes me feel like a newb.
Chalk it up to Things I Still Need To Work On. Really must remember that just because there are still things to learn, doesn’t mean I haven’t learned anything.
In the meantime, I’m contemplating doing a daily journal in Marley’s head to see if I can’t–well–get into her head. If you care to follow that, you can over at Character Cogitation.