It’s about to get ugly.
I’m writing this latest draft and the good news is, I feel like I’ve nailed my antagonist. I’ve set him up to be a true villain, a sociopath with tidbits of dark history scattered about in his chapter, information I can use later to show why he is like he is. I’ve enjoyed creating him, even though he’s one sick puppy without a smidgen of remorse for some of the things he does, and will be doing. I’ve got dastardly deeds laid out for him that won’t win him any points with readers, but hopefully he’ll make for some page turning excitement. I’ve started the book with him, and his brother, and they don’t waste any time getting things jump started.
Now, I’ve moved on to chapter two, and the main character, my protagonist. She’s the one that, as they say, needs a good killing, except, I’ve done that to her multiple times already. The problem with her is…, I can’t seem to NOT make her BORING. She’s a “good girl.” She stayed at home to help her parents out, took on a full time job, and…well, there you have her. This beginning seems too blase, too vanilla, with no sprinkles even. I’ve finished her chapter, and, granted, I feel there are SOME good things in it, yet, I don’t feel the essence of her has come out. I’m not hearing her voice - not like with Mr. Badass.
Which brings me to an internal dialogue about my own psyche. How can I get sooooo into creating him, and then when it comes to creating the good person, I can’t find much of anything intriguing to say about her? Are good people boring overall? No, not necessarily. (well maybe ME – considering my last post)
Bottom line, I know she’s got to be up to par with him. She’s got to be a proper partner, the sort that makes reading three hundred and fifty to four hundred pages fly by, like no time at all.
In fairness, it’s not her character per se, it’s her beginning in the story. I’ve got some intriguing quirks planned for her, that will eventually come out and make her more interesting, but first, she needed to be introduced to the reader. I’ve got to work harder I think, to make her stand out, or stand on her own, as strongly as my bad guy. But, I don’t yet have the nerve to kill this particular version of her off and start over, once again. If what I have can solidify her in a reader’s mind, good. But, if I feel like I’ve failed in doing that, then, I guess it means the big DELETE key for the majority of her pages.
You know, character assassination, writer style. It won’t be the first time I’ve knocked her off.
My question is…, have you ever “killed” your main character, (over and over) in order to make your story work?