I touched on this awhile ago, but since I’ve been re-plotting Her Private Chef scene-by-scene, it’s really hitting home. Holly’s advice is to just write out every scene as they come, even if they’re out of order, and not to go back and edit, but I find myself picking up on continuity issues between scenes as I write my one sentence for each that I just *have* to go back and fix before I can move on (because the fix will affect all the other scenes after). And a lot of that has to do with the character roles that I switched up earlier in the revision process (and you thought I was digressing again).
It’s not that I really changed my characters when I decided to switch them into different roles. They’re still the same “people” I originally wrote them as, I’m just highlighting a different facet of their personality – albeit a worse one. Thank goodness my cast is pretty limited. I basically have six characters to play with. In my first draft, there were eight, only one of whom was a “bad guy”. After my role reassignments, I have three who are at varying degrees of “villainy”…each casting suspicion on the others for their various activities (how’s that for some seriously vague plot revelations?). Jealousy is the main catalyst for two of the three characters.
Why did I reassign three characters to less-than-savory roles? Because in order to experience internal growth, Hannah needs to be hit with betrayals on more than one level. They push her out of her comfort zone by degrees – so far out that she has to figure out who she is once and for all and embrace that identity, or lose everything. She’s stubborn. I decided that just the one catalyst wasn’t a big enough push to realistically push her out of her shell.
This is one of the most valuable things I’m getting from this revision course. Because while I’m using this information to revise at the moment, I’m also using it to really consider my characters in the newWIP, and how they will or can help push my main characters out of whatever rut they’ve settled in, and into something better (as well as each other’s arms). I’ve been thinking a lot about the draft I have waiting to be revised after this one, wondering whether I’ll switch my characters up for that or not (it’s been sitting since Dec. – memory is fading).
Have you ever taken any “good” characters and made them “villains” in revisions? Or vice versa? Do you consciously make sure your secondary characters are earning their “stage time”?