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Character Changes (1 Viewer)

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Senior Member
I'm not sure how to ask this, but I'll give it a shot.

In my finished manuscript, "Crushed Heart," one of the characters, Rachel, is the love interest for the protagonist. When I originally wrote the story, she seemed somewhat insubstantial, like she was only there to BE Ral's love interest but not a character unto herself. Other than attending classes as well (both attend the same college), I don't know her goals or anything else.

I've been playing around with the idea of making Rachel into the the police detective in the story, or the partner to the existing detective.

I guess what I'm asking is, which would be more interesting: a slightly older college student who's primarily along for the ride or a detective trying to find out as much as she can not only about the case the book revolves around but about Ral as well?

The first is what I've already written. The second seems to offer more conflict to the story.


Senior Member
Hard to answer. Personally, I'd say anything other than the "just along for the ride" approach. So, if the only other option is the detective thing, well, then that. 'Course, this is all subjective.


Senior Member
It depends on the plot of the story and what having the main love interest be a detective would add to that.

There is nothing wrong with having a love interest really not developed well. Nothing wrong with using her as a foil, where the reader would learn more about the main character through his thoughts about/interactions with a love interest--even a shallow one.

There is a whole range of character types, and each can be used/serve a purpose in a story.

Here's an article I wrote that may help some in explaining what I mean: Seven Common Character Types

Good luck!



Senior Member
"Which would be more interesting"....? Asking your reader a question like that might possibly make him lose interest, I'm thinking. I mean, the question's too vaguely worded, which suggests that the resulting characterization may similarly be formless in spite of our best-intended and most sincere input. I mean, don't listen to me! I'll only lead you astray....

But seriously, folks: You say you already wrote the character the first way. If it was me, I would just finish what I had and leave it as is for now. When you are doing your edits you will start to see if you can or should change the character. There's no rush, right? If nobody's holding your feet to the fire, then just keep writing and try not to stop until the story is done.

I'm assuming here that it's the story that's important, so finish the story. That's my best advice, take it or leave it. Just so you'll know, that's happened to me when writing fiction: A character starts to evolve and change, and I often have to rewrite a lot of stuff to accommodate him/her. That's just how it goes: Write, write, rewrite, rewrite. Try to look at it as fun! :D

Bilston Blue

WF Veterans
I think it's difficult to answer your question without reading the story, or what you have written so far. Alternatives may be to cut the character altogether if she isn't relevant to the story or isn't working for you, or try combining two weaker characters to create a stronger one.

Good luck.


Senior Member
Thank you for all the advice. I've thought about it more and decided changing the one character I've proposed would involve changing the entire story. She's in almost every scene! So, changing her 'job' in the story won't happen. I'll just have to go through the make adjustments for personality, to make sure she's not too flat.
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