Monday, July 25, 2011

Character Awakenings

Right now I'm doing a rewrite of a piece called "Simon," it's original working title was "Story of a Dead Man," and for a short while lived with the title "Memory files."

And in one of the scenes I was working on recently I was not satisfied with the dialogue. The second main character, Mindy, was profusely apologizing for her actions and when I compared that to an earlier scene where her character came through strongly I knew there was something wrong. She was coming across as weak and helpless which she is not. I pondered why and how I could strengthen the piece and suddenly realized that she was not sorry at all... she was pissed off. Wow, what an awakening!

And now, just as I thought I was on a roll and this would be the last draft, I have to change the whole scene and, in retrospect need to look at some of the past scenes and figure out if I got her mood right in them or if they too need to be changed.

However, I'm not too upset about it as it's moments like these where the character wakes up that provide the joy in my story composition. 


  1. It's always fun to get to know your characters a bit better as you create your piece isn't it? Sometimes they even surprise us. :-)

  2. Yes. And I love it when my characters surprise me :) Watching then unfold and develop is part of the excitement of the journey. And then there's alway s that moment of epiphany when I realize where the story has actually come from and how it ties into my life experience and emotions.

  3. Hi Leonie,
    It's great you identified her true emotion. It may be it will come across to the reader, without having to change it; or it may only require subtle changes. That's part of the art of dialogue- what the character is saying, is not always what they truly feel or mean. Sometimes the character themselves doesn't even realize it, and it's up to the reader to discern it. Thanks for sharing your ephiphany! I love moments like that, too.

  4. Thanks Annie,

    You are absolutely right about dialogue and emotions not always matching. I hadn't considered the possibility of not changing the dialogue or only making minor changes. Thank-you, it's definitely something for me to consider. Dialogue is something I feel I need to work on more as there can be so much to play with and consider when it comes to conveying things, it is an art, definitely.