This is a sensible question really. Knowing I’m in the middle of editing one book and getting it ready to be published and that I already have two wip’s that need a lot of polish, I’ve decided to not start drafting any other stories until after I move in January. This means getting familiar again with a work in progress that I thought I had put aside for the time being.
There are a lot of problems with this work in progress but the one I’m trying to sort out first goes by the name Derrick. Derrick is a ridiculous name and I know it isn’t right but that is his name for the time being and that is the least of this particular characters problems.
See, Derrick starts out in the very opening scene as a very impressive and strong, if emotionally immature, young man. It is a great scene where he lords his power as a mage over a group of commoners (or non-magic users). It really sets the tone for how the world works and all and all that particular scene works.
Jump a half-dozen chapters further a long. Oh. What is Derrick doing? He is playing a childish prank on someone a lot stronger than him and then running away. If you are wondering why the scene actually serves to show the other character’s explosive temper which is kind of an important part of the plot later on but Derrick’s actions do not make sense. Not if he is the same Derrick who appeared back in chapter one.
Skip ahead again. Now what is he doing? He’s giving the best friend, morale boosting speech to someone who was about to collapse. He is thoughtful and well-spoken and considerate. No. It can’t be the same character.
And so on.
Poor Derrick is facing an identity crisis. More importantly, I am facing a crisis. All of these scenes are important to the plot but the character makes no sense at all and his progression is random. Actually, his progression is simple. I need a character to do this to cause that. Throw him in. That seems to be how he has gone along and that does not work. Yes, he is a minor character in the grand scheme of things but that is no excuse for not plotting out a logical character arc. I’m either going to have to figure a way for Derrick to do all the things he needs to do, in a way that allows him to stay true to his character, or I’m going to have to find someone else to fill the spot in the scene, someone who makes sense.
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