It’s all very well walking in a mile in your characters’ shoes but I feel as though I’ve twice walked round the world in them. I’m editing the last two pages of the MS for my second book and it’s taking me a long time just to get through a paragraph. Still, I’m nearly there.
After this revision I’m looking forward to getting out of their shoes and standing well back so that when I put them back on again they’ll feel nearly new – and I’ll have a more objective view of their lives.
This is linked to another problem; namely that the author can be too close to the story (in that they know first hand about some of the problems the characters face). There is a cathartic effect of writing down experiences but after several revisions it has worn off and I find myself grappling with their dilemmas each time I edit a page.
Once I’ve finished this revision I’ll return to my third book which I started between revisions last year. I’ve already written some 9,000 words and have to insert three of four pages of typed scrappy notes. Now that will be cathartic.