“Of course, you have to explore their past: those characters of yours have a past, hidden from you, so far. You need to discover it, understand it, get into some of the less palatable truths about them. Don’t just see them squeakily clean on the blank page! Look, look for the filth, the deplorable, the inexcusable.”
She spoke, in this charming but imperative voice my muse has, when the rain falls, and I am stuck in getting the novel back moving again. She’s right, she always is.
“And, by the way, if your discoveries, what they were once up to, the skeletons in their briefcase, lead you to question their virtue, don’t hesitate! The hero is less than perfect! Good! In fact he is a coward, or was, or might be again: lovely! What will attract the attention of a discerning reader is, is precisely what makes her that little better, more adjusted, thus a touch sexier, than that character of yours!”
I will follow her advice, much work in perspective, and maybe, by digging through the filth, I’ll find the gems?