During the Beta Reader stage for Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen, J.C. Buchanan one of my beta readers, had a favorite character. That character was Prehna Birchdell, the smart, logical, outspoken friend and complete opposite of Lydia Green.
The fact that Prehna was J.C.’s favorite character caught me completely off guard.
Not because I didn’t like Prehna, I did. But because in the first draft of the story she had absolutely no personality, and I had been struggling to make her character ‘work’ ever since.
Because of this, somehow the thought had never occurred to me that she would be anyone’s favorite character. I had begun to think of her less as a character and more as a piece of the plot – a thread that had grown tangled and I had only just managed to weave back in smoothly.
But J.C. loved her. She loved Prehna a lot more than I did at that moment, and because she really cared, she noticed a lot more than I did.
Some of her comments include:
“I really love the the development of Lydia’s character here–however, fit within this scene, the fact that she isn’t more concerned for Prehna makes her a smidge less likable. Just a thought:)”
“I LOVE this whole interaction. Lydia and Prehna both get a chance to be totally real and get everything in the open–Lydia admits she was wrong, Prehna confesses her hesitancy. It makes the characters SO relatable and so likable!!!”
“Is Lydia worried at all for Prehna? Because I’m freaking out here nothing better happen to Prehna”
Obviously… My neglect of Prehna had caused some problems. (They’re fixed now, I promise. XD)
This taught me two valuable lessons.
- Write every character as if it’s your reader’s favorite, because they might be. Let them have their moments, don’t shove them to the side as ‘just another character’.
- Find good beta readers who care about your characters (sometimes more than you do) and your story and want them to be the best they can be.
So, to recap. Thank you J.C., for helping me create the Prehna Birchdell we all know today.
docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence