Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lost: Main Character. Please Come Home!

Well, I finished editing/rewriting the second third of my book! I am ahead of schedule, which would make sense I suppose since I do basically nothing all day except go to the gym and then come home and sit on my tush and write. It's a fantastic feeling, seeing it buzz along, and feeling really good about it.

My snag, though, is that I seem to have lost one of my characters. I realized this yesterday as I was trying to "fix" my narrator's husband. Both the wonderful and difficult part of writing this book is that absolutely no one in the book is based, even in the teensiest way, on any real person. Not even an actor. They are completely made up. Which is great fun, except that Travis, for some reason, never really got fleshed out very well. My wonderful critique group pointed this out in a very nice way ("um... he seems kinda boring. Is he supposed to be this way?"), and so as I've been editing/rewriting, I have been trying to really nail him down. Except last night I realize, I have no idea who he really is. (Except he is really not anything like that picture!)

When I began writing Some Kind Of Normal (which may soon have a different name, but more on that another time), I had a good idea of who Travis was. I saw him in my mind. I saw his favorite lazy chair. I saw his nightly dozing in front of NASCAR, his love of pork rinds and grits and his well-worn Willie Nelson tape. What I couldn't see was his face, and what I totally didn't see coming was his strength. And now I am trying to reconcile the character I created with the character the story demands he be. And I'm not sure I'm doing that part very well.

While everything else is falling into place, I find myself thinking about Travis, and trying to figure out who he really is. He isn't a hugely main character in the book, but he's big enough I should at least have a really good feel for him. (For instance, in any everyday situation, I could tell you immediately what Babs would do. Stuck behind a lousy driver? She'd honk and yell out the window. Travis? I have no idea.)

In all this editing, though, I am getting much closer to querying. Even writing that makes my heart skip a beat! I've started perusing agent websites again, jotting down books I love and finding their agents, reading Miss Snark again, just for fun. I'm starting my dream list. I think my query is ready to go as soon as the book is. I'm trying not to rush this. Really I am.

But I think this one is it. I do. And maybe one day I will have to come back and erase this part of the post in embarrassment, but I feel really strongly about this book right now, like nothing else I've ever written. And I'm just so darn excited!


  1. I LOVE THAT FEELING -- that this is The One. I've got it too. But I'm not rushing a darn thing. I kind of wish I would rush a little. Hmm...

    Your Travis just needs a page in your notebook. Describe his looks in detail. Likes and dislikes.

    I think it's right that he isn't fully drawn yet at the beginning because maybe she sees him taht way too. And like you said, his strength shows up as the story progresses. You'll nail it. Don't worry. I have faith in you.

  2. You're right about this, Heidi. This book is publishing worthy. You are going to finish editing and find a fab agent and then we shall find you a fab publisher. Do not fear.

    (Although, it seems like I fear every bit as much as I did now...scared the edits aren't good, scared the story isn't the best...but it's all a leap of faith).

    And you've got it.

    GO YOU!

    (I do like'll figure him out)