Changes in Your Main Character
Between book one and book two your main character has gone through some big changes whether three hours, three weeks, or three years has passed. In your first book, your main character learned lessons, overcame challenges, and met people that have changed them. Those changes need to show in the sequel. Today, we are going to explore what has changed about your main character and how to show it.
Change? What Change?
Between The Destiny of One and The Destiny of a Few, the upcoming sequel to The Destiny of One, not a lot of time has passed. It is hard to think that there have been any changes, but there have. Between book one and book two of the Destiny trilogy, there is a shift in focus. In the first book Maria is struggling to find what God wants her to do with her life, in the second book she is struggling to accept the plans God has for her.
As I said in part one of this series, the sequel will make you dig deeper into your character and explore aspects of them. Before you start in on your sequel, figure out what has changed in your character.
Digging deeper into your character can be a tricky business. You may have thought that you knew a lot about them from your first book but in the second book, you are forced to learn even more about them. Let us go back to the story about the boy who played with matches and ended up burning his family home down in book one and in book two he developed a paralyzing fear of fire.
In book one you explored his guilt and how he is forgiven. In book two, you have to big deeper into this boy. Why does he have a paralyzing fear of fire? Has he not forgiven himself? Did one of his siblings almost not make it out of the building? Was he dared to play with the matches? Was the reason that he played with them in the first place that he had started hanging out with the wrong crowd? Dig into your character and explore. You will, most likely, find plenty of material for a sequel.
In some sequels you jump ahead in the story by many months or even years. In my own trilogy there is going to be a three year jump from the second to the third book. These kind of jumps can be very hard on your characters. Think back three years in your life and how much you have changed. Think back even six months and you will most likely to see a change in yourself. If you jump large amounts of time, you need to make sure that you think about the changes in your character and a way to show them to your readers? Have they developed fears? Have they overcome some defect? Are they jealous of someone? Do they have romantic feelings for someone now? What has changed?
Perhaps your main character has yet to learn their lesson. So how could they have changed? Perhaps what is needed is just a change in emotion. If they haven’t learned their lesson or reached their goal, maybe it is just their emotional state that has changed. Maybe they are angry that they haven’t learned their lesson, or frustrated that they haven’t reached their goal. They might be sad that they continue to do the same thing wrong, or they could be worried that the villain might catch up with them.
Next week on Writing Saturday we are going to explore: Sequels; New and Old Friends/chara