So last week I said that I finished my novel manuscript (really exciting), but I wanted to tell more about how I finished it.
There was lots of rewrites and staying up until 3 and 4 in the morning, but I was eventually able to make it to the end. To get to the point where everything felt complete, there were 3 big problems I needed to solve (listed below in order of importance to me at the time).
1. The biggest problem I had was the need to develop simpler characters who didn’t have too much going on. I don’t say “simpler” characters to mean that I didn’t want them to be complex, because they are, but I mean that I needed them to be more cohesive.
The best way I can describe it is like this: My main character can be red and pink. This makes sense, she’s two different colors, but these colors are still similar, related. They can coexist. But she can’t be red, pink, green, and sometimes blue. That’s too much.
2. The next things I wanted to fix were plot holes. These were maybe not my biggest problems in terms of the story as a whole (because I had already worked a lot on making the larger plot make sense), but there were still some smaller points of the story that bothered me a lot. Through fixing these holes, I decided that sometimes things are possible simply because I say they are, that’s part of creating a story. But, this mentality still has to be balanced with making sure I’m writing a story that readers can believe. That’s also part of creating a story.
3. The final things I needed to improve were dialogue and character interactions (this was probably the second biggest problem of my novel, but I didn’t realize it until the end). I had a lot of trouble figuring out the dialogue of certain key scenes.
This problem was helped immensely once I figured out a simpler characterization for my main characters, though, especially with my protagonist. Once I honed in on her emotions throughout the story, it was easier to figure out what she would be saying and how she would be interacting with the other characters.
After I did these things, and fixed a lot of other smaller stuff, I felt confident I could stop writing this novel.