Yesterday I spent my writing hours fine tuning character motivations. I made a list of all my characters who have a role to play in the story--beyond the very minor background/community sorts of characters. In other words, those characters who have something invested in the unfolding plot, those with some sort of desire or goal and who take action to achieve it:
1. my two main characters, Ian and Seona
2. the broad cast of secondary characters
3. and a few I'll call third tier
It went well, and I ended up playing the What If game. What if Character C was this way, instead of that? What if Character A had a different, stronger attitude to begin with? What if Character B had another reason for his actions than the one I gave him in the first draft?
By taking each character and looking at them separately, looking at the secondary and third tier characters as though this was THEIR story, helped me to see how I could create more depth and dimension. I've proposed more shapely and stronger arcs (at least in theory, the actual WORK still needs to be done) for several of the secondary characters, instead of the flatter arcs they have currently.
I'm not completely happy with all of them. There are still one or two characters who I feel are missing something, not living up to their potential, but I seem able to keep only so much proposed change alive and kicking in my head at once. After I make the changes, get them from head to screen, there will be room for more.
What an act of faith, is writing a novel....
PS: I have a new monitor, and man does everything look different. My old one dated to 1993. It was high contrast, but the text in Word docs and websites was sharp as a tack. This is a LCD monitor. It's handsome, flat, sleek and wide, and all the text looks bleedy and slightly pixilated (as text on all flat screen monitors look to me). But the biggest difference is that all my photos look washed out, like someone turned on the hideous white fluorescent lights. I've changed my header here, darkened it so it looks more like I intended it to look, and will get around to fixing other photos eventually. I've been looking at the same monitor for 15 years, so most every photo I've ever fiddled with now looks... wrong. Especially skin tones. Sigh. Welcome to LCD land, Lori.