Revising Leah

June 23, 2008

Grandma

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 12:10 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

The final chapters of the novel are centered around Thanksgiving. Home from school, Leah spends a lot of time with her family as well as her grandmother (her mother’s mother) who has come to celebrate the holiday with them.

Grandma is a crucial character in this final phase of the book. Her interaction with Leah sets up the epiphany that the girl experiences in the last chapter. Unfortunately, I’m not at all happy with how the character was portrayed in the 1996 draft. I think the problem is that often Grandma speaks to Leah in a somewhat condescending way — the way that an adult often speaks to a young child. That is not at all the kind of relationship that I want to portray between these two characters. I want the two characters to experience a sort of connection, a bond that Mrs. Nells has never achieved with her daughter — a bond that causes some conflict a little later when Grandma and Mrs. Nells start arguing about the best way to raise a girl like Leah. I think the character of Grandma improves a bit as this phase of the story goes on, but initially, her relationship with Leah is more like that of an adult and a 4-year-old instead of a 14-year-old.

The dialogue — how Grandma speaks to Leah — is the main source of the trouble, so I’m focusing on that aspect of the story as I revise.

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1 Comment »

  1. Enjoyed your last two post; Grandma is a given in “who could not relate to the character and you post relating to yourself being embedded into the characters. I have the same relationship with my characters and bring them in and out of several stories.

    Thank you for sharing these types of thoughts.
    Annie O.

    Comment by cedarstreetwriter — June 23, 2008 @ 11:03 pm


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