I had a nightmare Saturday night. It had something to do with a man who was manipulating three other people (one of them was me) and when I woke up, the man made me think of Peter, my antagonist in PETER, JACOB, JONAH, and ONAN. I thought, That’s how my antagonist should be. So scary that I wake up in the middle of the night scared that he’s gonna get me. I should be just that scared when I sit down to write the book. I should channel that fright into the book.
That gave me incentive to ramp up the “scary” factor of not just Peter, but every antagonist I have in every story I have. All I have to remember is that terrified feeling right after waking up from a nightmare.
The following Sunday morning, I was at church, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the Mass (shame on me). I was too busy thinking of my stories and their plots and the hard questions I’m having to ask myself as I revise.
One of those problems is my current main character – Rachel. She’s been a pain in the neck ever since she sprung up in my head. I don’t like her and she’s supposed to be the protagonist. If I don’t like her, readers definitely won’t like her.
So as I sat in church, I envisioned my story without Rachel – like she had never existed at all. Oddly enough, the more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed. Without Rachel as protagonist, plot holes would close. Logic would be restored. I nominated Leah as protagonist instead and wondered why I hadn’t put her as protagonist before. She’s much more sympathetic. She’s got more conflict and problems to deal with. She’s a whole lot more interesting than boring old Rachel. And when I write from her viewpoint, she doesn’t make me want to strangle her.
I can always put Rachel in another story – and kill her off.