I mentioned a couple of times that I’m playing about with a complete but unpublished novel I write several years ago. One of the problems is technology has moved and changed so quickly that I can’t bring the story completely up to date because everyone would be on their smart phones, photographing everything, facebooking, instagramming and all the rest of it… So to a certain extent it will have to remain set in the not too distant past… which I will have to subtly signal to my readers.
However… the main difficulty I have encountered is that the main character is just too wimpy… Genet actually has a core of steel but this is not revealed until the last past of the book, but I want readers to engage with her otherwise they just won’ care enough about what is happening to her. On the other hand… right on the first page something happens to Genet which is the catalyst for change, so I have to make her seem a bit soppy at first, in order for the change in her to become apparent.
Her friends begin to notice and after an incident with her husband, Chrissie talks to her about her husband Lance:
“You’ve changed, Genet, you’re different,” Chrissie spoke tentatively.
“Changed? Different, how?”
“You seem… I don’t know, less tolerant of Lance, somehow. Every time you look at him it’s how I look at my son when his bedroom’s a mess. You’re shorter with him, snappier, not as soft as you were. And you seem more… I don’t know, secretive isn’t the word, but that’s all I can think of.”
Genet began a confused reply, shocked by what Chrissie had said.
“It’s probably just a rough patch you’re going through. You and Lance will always love each other, this affair, it’s nothing. He wouldn’t have bought you that necklace otherwise, it really is beautiful.”
Genet’s hand had been unconsciously upon the gold chain.
“He didn’t buy for me.”
“You bought it for yourself? Well done you! It’s about time you put yourself first, Lance is always indulging himself! That’s what I meant about you changing and being different, Gen, I didn’t mean it in a negative way, its good you’re stronger and more positive, less of a doormat!”
So… I need her to be passive in order to show how she changes as the story progresses, but at first I’m concerned she is just too passive! Hmmm, balance… balance and judgement!