Remodeling that Novel

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Fixing a novel is like remodeling a house. It takes time, energy, and experience. Sometimes it even takes money to fix a book, by hiring an editor.

As you look at a house/your novel, is it on a solid foundation/plot? How’s that location and setting? With the changes you make, will people like it? Will you like it? Is it functional or all a cluster mess?

What parts do you want to change? Most houses and novels could use improvement. Even if it’s just a little attractive paint. Or an entire remodel.

The two biggest selling points of a house design are kitchen and bathroom. What about a novel? You need an interesting plot and intriguing main character. How can we make those better?

Can you sell this thing when you are done polishing it? Do you even want to sell it or just keep it forever?

Finally, will it look good enough after its finished to be worth your efforts?

What Drives Your Character?

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Does your main character have to be the best at what they do?

In The Maze Runner, the main character was a fast runner, with an exceptional amount of figuring out what on earth was going on with the maze and why were they there. He was driven. Maybe he wasn’t the fastest, smartest guy, but he had that extra drive that made him interesting and special.

In the Harry Potter series, the main character was a smart kid, and pretty talented. I wouldn’t say he was exceptional though. He did surround himself with the right people, friends, mentors etc. I think bravery was his best attribute and the drive to do the right thing.

In Divergent, (I’ve only read the first book) Tris isn’t athletic at first, but she has that drive to be something greater than her boring life at Abnegation. She wanted something and nothing would stop her. She was driven.

These are only a few examples of characters who aren’t the best at what they do, but they have the drive to succeed and do whatever it takes. Damn determination! In real life, I see very talented people with zero drive, and not so talented people with a great drive. Who succeeds here?

For myself, I have a great drive for certain things. I have my hang ups that get in the way though. And things can take so long to come to fruition. So my drive wavers when results don’t show up quickly. I enjoy stories with characters who are driven because that’s what I want to emanate in my own life!