The main characters in my story join a special forces program to combat an alien conquest. At some point, I realized the story would be more realistic if people were cut from the program, so I created a few extra characters. One of them was Diana. She wore too much make-up (even during basic training), curled her hair, and was obnoxiously snooty. I already disliked her. Then, my MC started crushing on her, so I REALLY disliked her (he was supposed to like someone else).
Through the iterations of the story, Diana changed. She managed to stay in the special forces program, even though her character was created to fail out. She started out as a history major, but somewhere along the way, she became a fashion design major. She became less snooty, though she was still a little obnoxious (a rule-follower with no sense of fun . . .). I didn’t care much for her, but I was warming up. She might have been a little annoying–the MC might still have a crush on her–but she was also kind and generous.
Then I wrote about her in Book 2. I suddenly realized what a cool person she was. She was a rule follower, but she did have a sense of fun. Being a fashion design major actually gave her unique skills for the resistance. She was able to design clothing that worked like armor but was affordable. She could mend precious uniforms to keep them from being wasted.
She was also incredibly strong emotionally. Her entire family had been killed by the aliens, but she somehow managed to hold it together and join a special forces unit. Then her unit was decimated. Instead of giving up, she joined the resistance.
There’s an image of her in Book 2 that I absolutely love. At this point, she’s married and is in the second trimester of her first pregnancy. She’s standing–with her curled hair pulled away from her face (no make-up 😉 )–holding a rifle to her shoulder to cover the female lead who is performing field medics on wounded soldiers. I love this image of Diana: strong and fierce and feminine and maternal.
Yet, as I write Book 1, I’m coming to a horrible realization.
I may have to cut her character.
😦 😦 😦