I’m facing what I think (hope) will be the hardest round of edits for my first book. The problem, as it stands now, is I need to infuse the book with the heroine’s personality more to make it come alive. After reading it, I want someone to be able to say, “Carly would find that so funny!” or “Carly would hate that!”. Right now I don’t think that’s true. But to change it means I have to do something deeply foreign to my WASPy soul:
I have to unbutton enough emotionally as a writer to give the reader the same insight into and connection with Carly that I have.
As an example of how Herculean a task this might be, I offer this little fact: I don’t like literary greats like Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Carlos Ruiz Zafon because I think the emotions of their characters are too… out in the open. Before you act all shocked and tell me how good books like Love in the Time of Cholera are, let me point out: I know. I know they have great literary merit. I just don’t like reading them. All that explicit emotion makes me uncomfortable. Which I freely admit is probably a bit of a character flaw on my part.
But it doesn’t help me get around the fact that I now have to revise my book so that readers feel like they know Carly. And to do that I’m going to have to invite them (however subtly or indirectly or reluctantly), into both Carly’s and my own sanctum sanctorum.
Of course, I could just write a tedious book in which you don’t get to know the main character. But for some reason my editor is against that. Weirdo.