Oh man, I'm having a good time editing.
Early in the year, I blogged about making character charts. (Twice, actually, because I added to mine.)
Now that I'd edited the big stuff in my manuscript, it was time for me to review my character chart. But it's enormous, so I decided to print it out and put my bulletin board to use. I know my Nana thought it was super weird when she saw "4ft x 6ft roll of cork" on my Christmas list, but check out this beauty:
That is my monstrous character chart. Which, as you can maybe tell, still has a decent amount of blanks in it.
Which is when I decided I needed to write character journals. I picked 5 characters - the guy who becomes my MCs boyfriend, my MCs best friend, and then 3 antagonists. I asked each of them "what is one word that describes you?" Some of the answers kind of surprised me (which, yes, I know is weird. I wouldn't say that to non-writers.) Like one of my antagonists described himself as being a self-made man. Well, no wonder he's ticked having to work for my MC, who's received everything she has because of her parents.
Character journals are a wonderful way to explore the heads of your secondary characters. Sometimes the answers to my questions pop out so fast they surprise me. Other times, I'll write a sentence like, "I'd always been interested in cooking, but my interest really piqued when-" and then I sit there and mull this over for a bit, wondering what story lies behind his interest in cooking.
The process of character journals helps me think through things I might not otherwise. Sometimes new plot twists arise, but more often my plots are clarified. Like I already knew my antagonist didn't like working for MC, but I hadn't taken the time to think through what his story was and why the two of them were clashing so much.
I never know what to do with my character journals when I'm through. For now, I've just tacked them up on my board, above the character chart, in case I need to reference them later:
Don't forget today's the due date for your writing prompts. On Wednesday we're going to talk some more about publishing and what publishers are looking for. Any other publishing questions you want me to get on the schedule?