It’s clear that my characters are headed for a showdown. But not in the pages of my NaNo novel.
In my head.
And the worst part is, the ones I’m pulling for may not come out the victors.
At the moment, my novel has nine main characters. Yes, that’s right: NINE. And several very important secondary characters. Two things have become apparent—there’s no way this novel can be just 50,000 words and even then some of the characters are going to have to be cut.
I knew from the beginning that I was biting off quite a lot, but since my story was a takeoff on existing stories—Greek epic poetry and drama—all the characters seemed necessary.
But now, only three full days in, I’m losing track of who is doing what with whom, and just how they all contribute to the build-up to the climactic scene.
The good news is that the character based loosely on myself, the Super Main Heroine, if you will, is staying no matter what. She’s proven an excellent overall form to drape everything else on, she’s likeable (has a bit of a foul mouth, but not HBO-level foul) and my plans for her storyline are solid, well-defined and interesting.
The bad news is the character I thought I would like the most, the one that seemed to have the most versatile and entertaining personality and development possibilities, is probably going to get the boot. Oh, Talia, I have failed you!
Pre-November, I imagined Talia as cute, sassy, mouthy, funny, and talented. I wanted her to be the comic relief in the book, and the character all the readers would relate to, or at least like from page one until “The End.” She was never a direct influencer on the outcome of the novel, but was a fantastic sidekick for the other characters, the kind of personality readers would look forward to seeing again.
Oh, dear, sweet, funny Talia, you are dead on the page. You’re not coming to life the way I’d imagined; you’re whiney, you’re boring, you have no direction.
Okay, truth be told, it’s not you; it’s me. You’re doing everything right, exactly the way it should be done, but it’s just not doing it for me. I don’t know what’s wrong, but it’s just not working.
Maybe we should take a break; I’ll see some other characters for a few days and then we can talk about this again. Maybe we can work it out. Maybe we just need some time apart to figure out what we both want and how to get it.
I just can’t go on the way we’ve been. It’s not fair to you; you deserve a major role in a plot somewhere with lots of snappy dialogue, earth-shattering epiphanies, and one final, amazing catharsis. I don’t think I can give that to you.
Breaking up is always hard to do. But November 30th will be here before I know it, and I don’t want to look back and feel like I’ve wasted the best days of my month on a relationship that never really had a chance.
Good luck, Talia. I wish only the best for you.