Back in May I posted Problems with Protagonists. I voiced my concerns about dealing with a protagonist who just doesn’t seem to want to listen to anything I have to say.
The protagonist I’m talking about is George from my George Florence series. I mean, the series is named after him… the least he could do is cooperate, am I right?
With a little help from my writers group, I came to the conclusion that the way I was writing the novel was just not working out. I was thinking of changing it for a while, but when other people noticed the same thing I was, I realized it was time for a change.
Considering I wrote a post about my problems and so many of you gave me advice, I figured I owed it to you guys to give you an update.
I’ve been spending on the month of June rewriting–not editing, rewriting–George Florence, book one. I decided to put books two and three aside so I can focus on the first book.
When I say rewrite, I mean that I changed the POV from third person-George to third person-Lilah. I always visioned the two of them to be equal protagonists. George, the main male and Lilah, the main female. Except Lilah was pushy and started taking over. George was a pushover so he allowed her to do this.
Well, Lilah finally has the spotlight and I have to say that I’m glad I listened to my characters. Here are some reasons as to why the novel is coming out better than the first time around:
1. The novel is flowing more freely, yet slower at the same time. George Florence is a mystery and they were finding clues and evidence way too fast not giving the readers time to think about it. Since Lilah isn’t a detective she needs to stop and really think about the cases. She has to ask George if there’s anything she doesn’t understand. This gives the readers a chance to really think as well.
2. George acts more like a detective. He’s just getting back on his feet after being let go from the police department and he’s having financial woes. He’s bound to be a bit shaky on his feet. However, he’s toughened up a bit and I think that’s mostly because he’s trying to help Lilah along. He feels as though he’s responsible for her.
3. I have a better understanding of the cases George and Lilah are trying to solve. I keep a lot of notes and outlines with witnesses, statements, clues, the works. But I never understood what they meant. I just went along with it because it seemed to make sense. Now that George and Lilah are working through it day by day and George seems to have a lot more knowledge than he did before, I’m doing a lot more outside research. That was always something I was saving for the edits, but now I’ve realized that was dumb of me. Now I know what I’m talking about (sort of)!
Sure, the novel still has its problems just like every other first draft. But as first drafts go, I think this one is pretty good. It’s going much better than the other first draft (and that was the best first draft I’ve ever written!) so I think I’m making some real progress on this novel.
There will be more updates as I go along. I hope to finish the first draft by the end of June and edit it during August… along with writing for Camp NaNo. That will be fun!