Right now, I'm in second edits on my horror story "Once Upon a December Nightmare" that is being published by Wild Child Publishing.
From the first edits, the story is much better than before, but it needs "beefing up" to use my editor Zetta's words. I do completely agree, and the main problem with the story is the characters. They still sound too much like the same as each other.
I received the edits on Thursday, and I read over the notes and the edits/suggestions. I've been pondering them since Thursday, although I haven't actually opened the document back up to begin fixing what needs to be fixed and beefing up the story.
As I mentioned, the main problem so far is the characters, and I've been thinking a lot about them. I realized my problem with them. The story is loosely based on real life events that happened to me and three friends. I've been thinking of the characters as the real life people when I realized it was a big mistake to do so. These are characters, not real people. These characters have lives and distinctions completely different from the real people that inspired the story. I forgot that. Perhaps it was my inexperience as a writer or just a mental block, I don't know, but I had to stop thinking of the story as what really happened and think of it as a story. Sounds simple, right? Well, not exactly.
So, I'm doing something I've never done before with my characters. I'm interviewing them. The next couple days, I plan to write out questions and have the characters answer them in their own words. I'll be their therapist, of sorts. And, all characters will be interviewed from the four main characters (Cassie, James, Denise, and Mary) to the epilogue characters (John and Cara) to even the monster. Well, I might have to go through a monster translator to do that interview, but we're going to do it, as well. And, yes, I'm aware it sounds a little crazy and multiple personality of me, but trust me, I'm a writer, so it's not crazy, I think. I've been thinking about questions and what each character might say in my head, but I have to write it down (or type it up) to get a feel for them on the keyboard. I hope by Thursday I can crack open the manuscript and be able to write as each character and beef the story up. As a vegetarian, I'm usually against beef, but this time, it'll be vegetarian beef. By Friday or Monday, I hope to be able to send my second edits to my editor. I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be ready to go to proofing and won't need third edits. Of course, if it does, then I'll do that, as well.
I'll let you know how the process turns out.
As a side note, I wrote a review on "The Beauty Killer" series by Chelsea Cain. You can read it here.