I copied all 149 pages of Crude Sunlight, second draft, and pasted it into a new document. Saved it as Third Draft.doc, and then selected the Replace All feature.
Entered ‘Martha’ into the Find category.
Entered ‘Sandra’ into the Replace category.
Clicked on Replace All, and 107 mentions of her name were erased and replaced and like that she’s gone, gone and disappeared and forever forgotten except by my previous readers who’ll no doubt forget her as well when they meet her replacement.
Poor Martha. Half thought out, bitter and two dimensional, struggling for life but never given an honest shot. She was in a total of seven scenes, intimated in a handful of other ones. Thomas thought about her in an obligatory manner when in trouble or waking up alone in bed, but that was about it.
Sandra. Now this lady is new, and hopefully, if my conjectures and collations prove correct, a much more interesting lady. Already her name is stabbed throughout the document, and soon her scenes will be rewritten. I’m already injecting her into the beginning of Chapter 1, where Martha’s presence was that of the void, having just left, whereas Sandra is caught in the act. Kick it off with a confrontation, stilted and awkward and terrible.
Let’s see if I can’t breath life into this new woman, if I can’t make her eyes shine and her laughter peal out, if I can’t thrill her with energy and poise and make the reader interested in her, hate her and sympathize with her both. No more staid Martha, no more inconsequential her; queue Sandra, and let it rip.