I like constructive criticism. Troll if you must but if you actually want to change something, offer helpful insight to the creator. It makes me happy. I enjoy reading someone’s well thought out critique. Things I didn’t see glare obviously at me from the pages. I guess I’m too wrapped up in writing the story and considering narratives, plot points, and situational events. Considering why a character would wrinkle their nose at something, not sigh in disgust at it seems like a trivial matter, I know. But I have to be meticulous in some things, like describing the use of a gas-powered framing gun as a weapon. You may never notice but the idea is for you to never be interrupted from the flow of the story. So the minutiae of these character’s existence becomes suddenly important. To me, at least. I want a reader to be guided along with the story, never being interrupted by an odd event, not wanting to stop reading. If I accomplish that it will only be through extensive editing and revisions. I’m 40 pages in and I’ve lost count of how many revisions I’ve done.
Another issue I’m having is with the love of my characters. Strange, yes, and I swear I’m not straitjacket crazy. I’m just enamoured of the people in my head. They walk around with me and once I’ve developed them sufficiently, I can rely on them to influence their actions in the story. If it feels wrong, I know I need to change something.
Some of the characters are made to be destroyed, like green army men in a sandbox. Others are built to overcome any challenges I place before them and I have no problem testing their resourcefulness. They can handle whatever I throw at them. A few are implacable in their resistance and are off-limits until I can conjure the means for their defeat. But these are not the characters I am concerned with. No, my issue is the complete annihilation of a character from their world for the sake of that beast called “plot”. I have described and imagined and created this person and now I’m stuck with the idea of killing them or the one they were created to love or be loved by. I suppose that’s what authors of fiction must often do. We must create these interesting, hopefully beloved characters, that only we know so well, and then we must break them, sometimes irreparably, so we can examine their reaction in detail and display it.
Maybe it’s just me. I know it seems strange to be reluctant to slit some fictional throats for the furtherance of plot, but I genuinely like my characters. It seem callous to cut them down to make a story better.
Perhaps that is the point. I’m still undecided on what to do.