Characters have history, but I don’t always tell it – Some histories are hinted at, some are referred to, some never get a mention even though, when they develop in my mind, I intend there to be a place for them in the story.
Then the story expands and goes its own way and there just isn’t room anymore for that tale to be told. So, it’s discarded from the pages, but not from my mind. Was it wasted? No. That history still guides that character, it still makes that character who he or she is.
Some of those histories will find their way into these postings. I can show you then why some characters are as they are. You can see how I came to choose such a character and how each grew from their untold experiences.
While those histories might indeed be there in my books, although not plainly and not told in words but in deeds and feelings, outside my stories, I can give you a glimpse behind the scenes or, at least, into my mind. I can share some of these character secrets.
This is exactly what’s going on with my book. In fact, part of the trouble in editing is that meta-information (within the universe, but not part of the story – particularly as it is a first-person narration) keeps getting in the way. It confuses the story when you get that one piece but not the rest. Knowing what information can be kept or removed to add mystery, needs to be added for clarity, or should be redacted/deleted to keep in line with the character’s knowledge, can make or break a book. Great post! Thoughts provoked
Hi JPatrickavery – Thank you! I agree and it can be tricky to work that balance. I usually see if it works or not after putting the manuscript aside for a time, then reading it through with fresh eyes. It helps a lot to see what actually is on the page and what readers will see, rather than what’s imagination and thoughts. It feels great when it all comes together, though. Good luck with your work. cheers! 🙂