So, lately I’ve been going over some old writing of mine, wincing, shuddering, humming, smiling, etc, and it’s strange, because I can almost see the old remnants of myself in it.
For example, the whole Fenrir/Katriona thing y’all know about, it’s so in-depth, I know my characters so well, but the story is shaky-to-nonexistent and there’s little to no character development actually in the story. I ran across a few character studies and snippets in that folder, and they’re actually pretty good, and I fell in love with those characters again, but the plot. Ugh. I need to do a complete rewrite.
The interesting thing is, that is probably the only story where I have that problem. Most of my old, unfinished stories have an overabundance of plot and underdeveloped characters, particularly the girls, sadly. They’re also epic fantasies with quests and a shit ton of walking, during which nothing much happens except for long chats during which my characters prove themselves to be overly decent, one-dimensional characters who I adore too much to hurt, and occasionally pointless demonstrations of badassery and dramatic mental breakdowns. (Here I am referring to a story I can’t remember the name of, but the guy was named Dalak and was a blood elf. I don’t even remember the girl’s name, she was mostly just an excuse for me to be in the story, anyway. Also, my story Median Mages in which nothing at all happens except for declarations of how special the characters are and a long list of all of the things my characters were learning, and dramatic romance scenes with lots of running away and crying for 100 pages. Eh, I was 11.)
Monkshood and Mountain Ash is practically the opposite of my other stories, and it got an actual, shitty first draft done. My first ever completed first draft. Sadly, it is not salvageable, but I’m learning, I’m getting better, I’m figuring out more about people and the world, and I’m learning more about writing, really good writing.
I still get the occasional idea for an epic fantasy, so I write it down and stick it in my Epic Fantasy folder, but I find it interesting that my most interesting story is a modern-day, paranormal story set in a small town, with a female character who is grumpy, shy, and socially awkward, but still the strongest character I have ever made, and practical, and hard-working, and not a size 0 red-haired beauty, but a stocky, mousy-haired girl with a forgettable face, pimples, and practical clothes, and a male character who is quick to laugh, kind of a jerk sometimes, charismatic, and tactile, as opposed to broody, dark, but constantly OOC, and is tall and lean and blond instead of big, blocky, and dark haired, or small, wiry, and dark haired, and he knows exactly how handsome he is and he’s arrogant but loveable.
I guess characters really are the most important bit of a story.