The past two weeks I haven't done much in the way of reading, writing or blogging. I have been buried deep in the process of giving my familyroom and kitchen a facelift. After painting, steaming cleaning the grout in my kitchen tile, and shampooing the carpet, I looked at my kitchen cabinents and they needed something to freshen them up. My daughter suggested that I replace all of the handles with something more updated, something that would tie them in with the refreshened decor of the rest of the room. I did it. I loved it.
As I replaced just one of the handles, already my cabinets began to transform. I put on more handles. The eleven year old cabinets took on new life. During this process, I thought about other kinds of handles. Back in the days of CB radios, the truckers each had a handle. They identified themselves via their handles, and you could tell a lot about an individual trucker by their handle.
I a tired-looking cupboard could be transformed, made more interesting, by replacing its handle, perhaps the same thing would work for my WIP. In my critique group, my fellow writers have told me that my main character is not interesting, weak, lacks color, etc. Perhaps its time to give him a new handle. Even though I had cleaned up my writing, it wasn't enough to make the story shine. Just like with my kitchen, painting and scrubbing the grout was not enough--the cabinets needed new handles.
A few days ago I started livining up my MC, giving him more flaws, giving him a passion that he was determined to make happen, even it was impossible. I hadn't done it before because my story is based on a real person's life, and he had failed to tell me any of his flaws, only the story of his life. Straight story, I have discovered is not enough. My main character needed a handle--a unique personality that would liven up my story.