With only about another 40,000 words to write for my novel at the beginning of last week, I was surprised to look at the word count yesterday to realize that I had managed to write 15,000 words last week alone. It is pretty rare that I have enough time and enough focus to get that much work done. Something last week clicked though and it all started when I took the time to write out the full character plots.
When you write a story with a lot of charcters and character twists and about characters who have more depth than 90% of the people you have met in real life, it can be really confusing. I have a list of 7 main characters. These are the characters that the story focuses on and revolves around. If you take any one of these characters out of the story it will dramatically change the entire story line. I had been putting off doing this step because I had not made all the final decisions about my characters. I hate feeling like I am committed to a character story line when all I want to do is write a story that is organically flowing from my mind as I write.
The whole process took me under an hour to do. I simply started by listing the characters who I thought could not be taken out of the story without having to rewrite the entire story. I then wrote about that character up to the point in the story I had completed. After this step, I simply continued with how I wanted my characters to end the story. The different twists and turn each character would take, the secrets that each character held and if those secrets would be revealed by the end of the book. It was like a million lightbulbs were turned on inside my head at the same time. I could not even remember writing as much as I did that week. I know I had written about how much I hated outlining chapters in my Writers Block post. I still hate the idea of outlining so much that I have restricted my own creativity, but there was something about putting all my ideas about the characters on paper that opened my mind to the point where I wrote without effort for hours upon hours each day.
With my story nearing completion, I am also looking to the next phase, finding an agent. As my research into different agencies has shown me that each has varying submission processes, most do require not only a synopsis of the story, but also a character description list. Taking the time to write these descriptions then became beneficial twice, it helped push my story to the next level and past two-thirds of the way done and put me one step ahead in trying to find an agent hopefully.