I FAILED MY CHARACTERS

This past year has provided me with many ups and downs. I received five full requests, and thought for sure by year’s end I would be announcing that I finally landed myself an agent. When the first one came back rejected stating “I’m not connecting in the way I need to be,” I thought, Okay, that’s just one person’s opinion. But when they all came back rejected with identical words, I knew it was time to go back to the manuscript. I gathered all of their rejections and came to the conclusion (something I think I already knew but didn’t want to believe) that my characters were flat. I received some positive feedback such as “This is an extremely marketable idea” and “The plot is good and pace is nice” but it was the last rejection that clicked and made me realize there is no depth to my characters. The very kind agent added a few more words to her I’m not connecting in the way I need to. She specifically said it was the characters she wasn’t connecting with. I felt embarrassed because here I was writing blogs about creating characters and questions to ask them. I should have been following my own tips and advice. She did leave her door open and said she would be willing to look at a rewrite or any other queries I might have.
I have been given a gift. An insight to why exactly my manuscript has failed to get me an agent. The day following her rejection, I headed to the book store and bought myself two writing books. I am ready to breathe life into the characters that mean so much to me. In my mind these characters were very much alive which is why I think they were dead on paper. I failed to add background stories, I gave no inclinations of how they ended up in each other’s lives (despite the fact I knew). I failed them. I failed myself.
Today I see through different eyes. I am prepared for the challenge. A story is nothing if you don’t connect with the characters. Wish me luck!

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11 Comments

Filed under character, character building, editing, Writing

11 responses to “I FAILED MY CHARACTERS

  1. I’m sorry about the rejections, but glad about the new direction you’re taking. I’m guilty of real-to-me characters who come out flat on paper. Good luck.

  2. Maribeth

    Thanks Medeia. Rejections are part of the game, right?

  3. You have a great attitude to face your problem and deal with it. That’s what this experience is all about. We are learning, growing, stretching ourselves beyond where we are today – to be better writers tomorrow!

    Thank you for stopping by the 12 Days of Christmas Reading! You are entered to win – best of luck!

    You probably have alreade selected a character profile packet/book/formula – but just in case you are still shopping for one…Rebecca Sinclair has one up at eclectics.com (in the articles section) that I like quite a bit. I also have gained much from K.M. Weiland’s ‘Outlining Your Novel’.

    • Maribeth

      Thanks Nadja for the suggestion and kind words. I am definitely going to check it out. This is a process and to complain wouldn’t get me anywhere. Even if I get rejected a thousand more times I will still love the process. Have a great day!

      • You are quite welcome! We all need that ‘push’ once in awhile.
        Could you send me your email? It’s for the 12 Days Of Christmas promotion.
        nadja (dot) notariani (at) gmail (dot) com
        Thanks! Have a Merry Christmas!

  4. Good luck!

    By the way, you’re a winner in the 12 Days! Please send me your email address.

  5. You are doing great to receive five requests and feedback!

    Read this series on my blog based on Larry Brooks’ “Story Engineering” and I guarantee you’ll want to buy his book: http://rebeccaberto.wordpress.com/category/the-best-advice-ive-learned-series/

    What’s your novel about?

    • Maribeth

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for commenting. You made my day. My novel is about a group of friends that get caught skipping school while hanging out at the town cemetery. They are given a summer assignment where they find buried secrets have a way of resurrecting. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed. I am going to check out that link you gave me. Thanks, I appreciate it!

      Maribeth:0

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