A significant aspect of the revisions needed on Full of Days before I submit it to more publishers is the story of one of the main characters, Aillinn. She is a main character but her story lacks the richness of a main character – it fits too snugly into the shadow of the other main character’s story. So it must be changed… added to… enhanced. And how will this be possible? Greater character development, sure; digging deeper into the personality and experiences of the character as she interacts with others, yes; more tangible and captivating descriptions than are currently written of her, certainly. But besides these, key to this task is the addition of more drama. Struggle, disappointment, difficulty, dilemma, crisis, mistakes, recovery – more drama… That shouldn’t be too difficult for a fiction writer. Right? Um, right.
Dare I admit that I have a strong distaste for creating more drama in these people’s lives? They’re fictional! They are not real! The drama is not real! Yes, but I know these people inside and out, fictional or not. I hate creating drama in real life and I am living real life while I’m writing so this translates into a bit of a struggle. I am brainstorming over what to add to Aillinn’s life, what circumstances to create for her to have a richer, more significant story. Each idea that presents itself is accompanied by a hesitation. “I don’t want to do that to her!” Or, “that might be too dramatic.” It’s hard to sort out the thoughts to know which to heed and which to ignore.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” (Arthur Golden) It is this which I believe I did accomplish in Annie, the other main character of Full of Days. It is this which I am attempting to do for Aillinn.