Hi My Loves,
So as I said the other week I am knee deep in my second draft complete rewrites. Editing is a funny thing you walk a tight robe and waver between the sides of ‘there is some good stuff here’ and ‘omg, this is complete crap’. Being a perfectionist as I am, doesn’t help matters what so ever. My poor friend and test reader, let’s call her ‘Tara’ has been getting my silly questions like
Layla: If I changed Vlad’s name to Carlisle – would it be a big deal?
Tara: Only if you change it half way through the story
Layla: Is it too much like Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place?
Tara: I haven’t seen that show in years LOL but from what I can remember I don’t think so. Even if it was similar a lot of books are similar but completely different if that makes sense
It did make sense and at the end of the days, it’s the characters that are going to make it different. I love these characters. Yes, there are two guys and a girl and they all live together in Bondi (I have even had doubts about their location. Should I move them to Bronte, Manly maybe?) But I do love them. They have lived in my head for a little over a year now, how could I not.
Here’s the thing I have learnt – I lost them – Especially my main girl Gin. There were things happening all around her but Gin is stationary. The story moves, but she doesn’t. She has to make some tough choices, most for the good of everybody else. She makes mistakes, huge mistakes, and life changing mistakes. She gets her heart broken and she breaks her own heart, all out of fear but in the end – as I am reading with fresh eyes and a clear mind. She is a shell, she doesn’t grow. In the end, she is a little unlikeable because of that fear, because of those actions.
The problem is I love her – I understand her – I want people to love her as much as I do but the Gin in my head and the Gin on the page are different woman. She needs to grow. She needs to change. I need to get to know the little things about her. Little that aren’t going to necessarily be in the story but things I need to know about her, to make her more than a shell. So I got visual with it. I found pictures of her favourite wine, her favourite book, her back story – god blesses photo collage software. It helped and I was talking to my friend Rita-Maureen about it all. Now, Rita-Maureen not only is a smartie pants, gorgeous, stylish lawyer and pinterest enthusiast but she’s a poet as well.
She said to me ‘How does she put on her make up? What comes first? – What’s her favourite perfume? How has she wants the world to see her? is that who she really is?
I told you Rita-Maureen was smart
I didn’t know? What did she do first? I had written about the makeup table that she sat down at but I did know what came first? The mascara, the concealer? I don’t even know
If I don’t know Gin, how is anyone else going to love her the way I do? As I am starting to change things and add things about her, about them. The story is changing and changing for the better.
I am I doing less writing? Yes. Am I doing more research? Yes. Does listening to my friends make me a better writer, most definitely.
Thanks for putting up with my crazy, girls