Novel engineering

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying my hand at writing a novel. Then I left it for the last few months, and am now that I can come back to it from a bit more of a distance, I’m doing a last pass through it to get it ready before sending it to agents and publishers.
This is partly continuity editing, and partly tweaking the protagonist’s personality. My protagonist is of course awesome, but people don’t like purely awesome heroes, so I’ve put in some fairly major flaws, and am now making sure they’re good and solid — I’d describe this as `flawing-up’ the hero.
This area of writing large-scale fiction is one of the several I’ve noticed that turns out to have quite a bit in common with writing large-scale software; actions have repercussions that can require adjustments later in the book — and may also have what I might call “prepercussions”, that have to be set up in advance for the new action to work. The latest change, in which the hero was in a sticky situation and now gets out of it more violently than before, is going to require the angst to start earlier.


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