So, a few days ago I had a revelation about my main character. Here's the thing: when I wrote The Hamsa's Song, I knew Satya (the MC) backwards and forwards. I knew her favorite foods. I knew how she walked, how she spoke, how she responded to fear and confusion and happiness. Satya was clear in my mind from the beginning, as were the rest of the characters in the story.
I guess I was just lucky. The Hamsa's Song was my first novel to receive any public attention, and part of me assumed it would be easy the second time around. Not so. With Untitled Novel (my WIP), the characters started out blurry, and remained so because I didn't want to take the time to develop them. I thought they would simply appear fully formed, as they did in The Hamsa's Song.
It didn't work out, and I found myself with a plot that I loved accompanied by mediocre characters. I pulled my hair out for weeks, trying to convince myself nobody would notice, even though I knew I would have to fix them at some point or another. Trouble was, I had no idea how.
Then BAM! Revelation.
I was half-asleep in Statistics when Mal popped into my head, waving her arms like a lunatic, just begging to be translated into my computer. She retained some aspects of the original character, but, as with Satya, I suddenly understood her thought process and the motivations behind her actions. For days I had agonized over how to develop Mal's personality, only to have it hit me like a big yellow school bus (think Mean Girls).
The changes didn't take all that long. I've been working furiously for the past couple days, and I'm almost finished. Thing is, once I had a better comprehension of Mal's character, I began to realize things about the other characters that hadn't occurred to me before. I feel like I've added a whole new layer to the story; it's amazing how much a simple change can affect the entire feel of the novel. I am so grateful. My book is a million times better than it was, and I'm starting to gain more confidence that the story will eventually find a home.