Let your characters edit your story

October 24, 2015

My editor suggested that I vastly change my last chapter of my second book of the Kung Fu Kellie series. I don't want to give away the story, but what I did was leave a bit of a question about a certain character that would lead in to the next book. She thought the character seemed creepy and wanted me to completely eliminate a huge scene. So what was I supposed to do? Was my editor right? Or should I have kept what I had written? Most of the edits suggested by my editor I wholeheartedly agreed with. They were easy to change. But the last chapter was tough to modify because I was so excited to lead the reader into the next book. So I put myself in my character's shoes, which I always try to do, but don't always accomplish. I became that creepy character and realized that his act in the last chapter wasn't what he would've done. He made a pretty big gesture with the little information he had, and it wasn't quite right. The act was something he would do in the next book, but not at the end of the second book. So my editor was right. I made this character seem creepy, which I certainly did not want to do, and I left too much of a question at the end, which wasn't fair to the reader. She suggested that I could add this scene to the beginning of the next book, and that way the story would resolve itself by the end, and the reader wouldn't be left hanging. So the next time you're not sure if you should follow your editor's advice, become your character(s) and think about whether their actions are appropriate to the scene or story.

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