While going through my notebooks, I found the beginning of a novel I had started a while back. Three pages in, I was still reading, enjoying the character, thinking to myself, “Hey. This is actually pretty good. Why did you stop?”
Then I remembered why I stopped. A simple text exchange.
While the main character is not me, she probably has more of my personality quirks than I should ever admit as a writer. She is a little sarcastic and a tad insolent, when the situation calls for it and the situation calls for it on occasion. Reading it, I remembered writing that character and I remembered enjoying writing her. Then came some weird high schoolish personality crisis out of nowhere – the result of allowing people to get in my head who had no business being there.
At some point, over the course of writing that story, I slipped from enjoying the character to thinking no one would like her – to thinking I needed to make changes to make her more suitable for general audiences.
Then I put that in text and my thoughts were confirmed from the other end.
Boom! That was it and the story went into the proverbial drawer.
Having sat in that drawer for some time now, completely forgotten, imagine my surprise when I started reading and fell in love with that character all over again. There were other important parts I had missed back then. The other characters who loved her, not despite, but FOR those quirks. They play an important part in the story. There were also characters who didn’t like her. Their parts in the story were much smaller. You need conflict after all.
While the similarities between me and the character’s story end at those few personality traits, it was eye opening and kind of neat, if I’m being honest, to learn a few lessons from my own writing. While I have made it my mission to finish the second novel in the Evelyn series before tackling any other writing projects, I am excited that she and her story are still there, just waiting for me to pick them back up again.
Some may not like her and that’s okay. I think there are others who will and that’s enough. I can’t wait to write her story and find out.
Michelle Leigh Miller is an independently published author, freelance writer, and blogger in Southeastern Ohio. Basically, she is just writing words.