author’s note: character arcs
Posted by jeanne
it’s yet another slog thru the chapters while i build out my characters. first i copied out just the keywords for each chapter, and then pasted the bare table of contents into each character’s file. and then, starting with the girl (and not having gotten any farther yet), i went around to all my supporting documents, all my versions, all my blog posts, and pulled all the descriptions or discussions about the girl, and put them all into her file. and for the past couple three days i have been sorting and chopping and rewording all the bits of her character. after sorting them, i put them into whatever chapter they’re going to be a part of, and have only just now finished moving these disparate paragraphs into place. so i now have a sketchy but verbose character arc for my girl. and i went thru most of it to add what she would be feeling like during this chapter, to fill out what she’s going to be doing in that chapter.
and boy it is tiring work. it seems futile, redundant, since i’m just pulling things together that i’ve already written, for the most part. and it may well be. but it’s really a fine toothed comb thru the tresses of my story, and the more i can do that now before i actually begin weaving my tale, the better. so i’m taking the time. and doing it a bunch of time.
and then i’ll put it back together again and go thru it a bunch more times to make sure they’re all reacting to each other, as well as marching fatefully down their own paths.
and i’m not done even then, nowhere near ready to write. i don’t know at the moment what i still have to do once i rebuild the chapter structure with all the character arcs, but i’m sure, no, certain, that there is something.
i won’t be starting to write until summer, and it’s only midspring now. and that’s too bad, because i’d like for it to be out for the end of the world as we know it. but it won’t be until 2013 or 2014 until it sees the light of day. god help us all.