I must have either been really happy when I wrote yesterday's post or really tired because I sure did use a lot of exclamation points. Apologies for that. Heh.
Ok. Ahem. Now to the topic at hand. Consistency.
In the past few days, I've done a fair amount of work on my novel. But I'm noticing that my main character is sort of morphing out of the GMC's that I originally gave her. And I think this is a good thing because my critique partner has pointed out some things in the first few chapters that I hadn't noticed before. Mainly - my character isn't very sympathetic and well, my critique partner didn't like her. That's not a good thing.
Now don't get me wrong. I believe you can have a main character that isn't universally liked and show how he or she changes and becomes a better person (if that is your goal). But while my character is, in the beginning, spoiled and a bit selfish, there are very good reasons for her to be that way - my job is to make sure that she is still likeable or at least sympathetic. Because let's face it - if she's not, then the reader really won't care what happens to her.
Here is where consistency comes in - and also where I thank God that this is the rough draft and I can go back and change things to my heart's content. (I am resisting putting an exclamation mark after 'content' ...) I need to make sure that she is staying true to who she is. I, as the author and the One In Charge, cannot deviate from this or the story will ring false.
And so, it turns out, after writing chapter five last night, that my character isn't who I thought she was in chapter one. And really, that's ok. I just have to make sure that her character growth remains consistent throughout the story. And this means going back and looking for places that my character is acting, well, out of character.
Sometimes this novel-writing business blows me away and I wonder if I can do it. There are just so many things to keep track of when you're writing a novel - characterization, plot, subplot, theme. All I can say is, thank goodness for second, third, and fourth drafts. :-)
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