There are many traits that I have inherited from my ancestors but the one that has been sticking out a lot lately is my stubbornness. This mainly come from my Norwegian heritage but some of my Irish heritage has to do with it as well. Lately I have been noticing it more and more and though it's not necessarily a bad thing I've been working on changing.
Yesterday I received the manuscript for Summer's Hollow back from my editor. To say there is some work to be done on it is an understatement. She loved the plot and the mythology behind it but she felt my characters were a little flat. Honestly this did sting a little but I got over it and read all her comments and suggestion. What she suggested is to sit down and write out "character sheets" for my two main characters. This is a wonderful idea and really a must for most writers. Problem is that is not my style at all.
How I write is I start with an idea and then, well I just start writing. I never know how it's going to end or what's going to happen along the way. I let my characters reveal themselves to the reader from their actions and dialogue with one another. It usually works but what I realized is it might only work for my short stories. With this full lenghted novel I think I got so caught up in getting the plot the way I wanted it and getting the message to come through that I left Rylie (the main character) kind of on the back burner. Then I came to a bit of an epiphany: I don't really like Rylie that much; I feel no connection to her.
Rylie is a character that actually is loosely based on me but she doesn't feel a part of me that way Emma does, or Aer does, or Penn and Doyle do. She is foreign to me; I feel as though I am watching her from far away rather than right next to her like my other characters. I want to fix that; I want to have that connection to her. Now the plot and the message I am tied to. It is that pychological notion that I have always wanted to create; something different than all the other horror novels out there. I have achieved that in this novel. What I haven't achieved is creating a character that my readers can fall in love with the way they fall in love with my other characters.
So my mission: to figure out just who Rylie Bradford is. I am putting away my stubborn ways of always using the same process and I am taking the advice from my Editor. This may even mean writing back stories for Rylie that are simply for me to discover her through her own words. What this means for you, my faithful followers is that the release date for Summer's Hollow is going to be pushed back. I'm shooting for February but honestly it could be much later than that. This book is my baby and I want my characters to be that as well.