So in the shaking-loose that is becoming a theme for NaNo ’10, I came up with this notion in the wee hours of this morning that I should merge two characters. Two major characters. I have this one character who is more than likely going to be the main character of at least the first book in what I hope will be a series, and my biggest hurdle with her is she is, frankly, dull. A couple of days’ writing of her going through her deceased grandmother’s belongings with warm sentimentality is making me cringe at the thought of being shelved with the feel-good chick-lit.
I needed to make her more interesting, give her complications, and the thought occurred to me for story-line reasons that she could have rejection issues. But I already have another, much more interesting character, with rejection issues. So then, I thought, “merge.” But then the question becomes, how?
The new hybrid character would be an archeology grad student like Boring Girl. But Boring Girl is white (possibly Jewish?) and Interesting Girl is asian. I’ve written Boring Girl as straight. Interesting Girl is gay. If I merge them, I either lose a POC character, or I lose one of the only straight characters in my novel. Having at least one major character be straight is sort of important to me so my story doesn’t get pigeon-holed as lesbian lit, but I think her straightness is part of the reason Boring Girl is boring. To me. I really don’t care about her love life or love life issues, unless she were to get together with a really unusually interesting guy character, which I did sort of have planned for her (but I haven’t gotten there yet).
Okay, so maybe she’s a bisexual asian archeology student with rejection issues. But then I’m stuck on her rejection issues. Some are family-related, but in Interesting Girl’s old back story, it was mostly that women were constantly breaking up with her. If I make her straight or bi, and have it that men are constantly breaking up with her, suddenly, it’s a romance movie cliche. Or maybe, both genders are constantly breaking up with her. That would be pretty pathetic. In an interesting way.