My middle grade rewrite simply is not happening. Planning is happening but when I actually sit down to write, I struggle. I trudge. I slog.
I finally decided that part of my problem is a mental disconnect. I am basically creating a whole new story. My main character is the same. His best friend is the same. But the antagonist is aging 4 to 5 years. She’s still his sister but now she’s his twin. Functionally, that’s going to be a huge change.
The problem comes with the fact that I still see her as the 6 year-old character I originally wrote, not the 11 year-old character she needs to become.
My solution? A name change. No longer will the antagonist in my story be 6 year-old Miri. Now she will be an 11 year-old peer. Not a bratty baby sister but a mean girl. You know. One of them. I could go even bigger and change her gender but I can see her in my mind already and she is that girl. Tall and slender and moves like a cat.
Not cute Miri but scary girl Mara. Sure she can be nice when it suits her. Just don’t count on it.
But the reality is that this didn’t come together until I picked a new name and started writing this post. The name was the key to nailing it all.
What do you do to make the mental adjustments that you need to make when you completely change a character?