Editing: The Videogame (Levels 1-3)

Level 2: The Characters

Wow! This Arc made me a better person!

This is the level where to question the very essence of the characters.

There are many obstacles for the characters and the writer to overcome: pistons of plot-flattening (oh, the horror of flat characters), electric walls of unclear motivation, moving platforms of  character arcs, bombs of unrealistic or ill-fitting dialogue.

It takes a deftness on the jumping and dash buttons to clear such levels.

Hopefully, in your super-awesome game guide/brainstorming, you spent the necessary time and care to map out your characters.  Characters do change as you write, developing and stretching in unexpected ways.

In animation, they have a ‘model’ of how a character should look for the main key frames.  Sometimes, especially in hand-drawn animation, the character can go ‘off-model,’ and look wonky.  By going back to your game guide, and, perhaps, some post-mortem notes on characters, you can go back and make sure the characterization and dialogue are ‘on-model’.

Once your characters, their dialogue, their mannerisms, their choices, and their arcs make sense and are interesting, and mesh with the plot, you can reach the end of this obstacle-ridden level.

Congratulations!  You completed Level 2!

Experience Points: 3,128

Achievements Unlocked: Living, breathing, believable characters.

Character Arc Grappling Hook

Now on to Level 3: Continuity, Structure, and Pacing

13 thoughts on “Editing: The Videogame (Levels 1-3)

  1. Congrats on finishing the draft, and ‘gaming’ something is *always* a good way to get motivated. Just don’t forget to save often, and pack extra health potions. It’s a long way back to town once you get in there . . .

    • That is some excellent advice.
      I actually do save often – just in fear the word program suddenly crashes on my tablet. It’s as terrifying as accidentally entering an area where you’re not supposed to be for another fifty levels.

  2. Congratulations on completing your draft! I’m nearly halfway through a draft of my novel, but I’m definitely in tht dark mapless place at the moment…
    I LOVE that you compared the editing process to video games. So true!

  3. Posts like this make me giddy with joy, because I love the intersection of videogames and writing. Congrats on getting to 90,000. I’m trying to cut my manuscript a bit. I’m at 117,000 and am in cutting mode. I never thought about making a videogame for the book, but I’ll consider that now!

    • It’s funny how often word count is the opposite of getting points – No! I want less!
      117,000 isn’t too bad, though. As I mentioned, my previous draft was 250,000ish – far, far too long. I had to gut the whole draft and take it back down to just the framework before rebuilding.

  4. That is such an awesome (and creative) way to describe the editing process! It’s interesting to see the way you broke it down. And I did like the bonus items. 😉

  5. I can’t wait to read your book! If I ever manage to discipline myself enough to get through a second draft of one my stories, that would be something. You, however, are a conqueror! Congrats!

    • I’ve still got to finish this edit-through, then I should be ready for Beta readers – It’s very exciting.

      With writing, you have to be Dorie and “Just keep swimming”

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