I have begun work on my novel in progress (nip?) – the one I began 9 or so years ago and then basically ignored. Step one has involved massive characters change. I'm basically sticking to my original group of people, but they're all going under the microscope.
Renata Torres is now Renee Beachamp. And from being from Puerto Rico, she's now Metis. (Note: I have no idea how to make e's with accents in WordPress.) Tony Miller (formerly Devalano) is now of German/English ancestry instead of Italian/English. Elinor Entwhistle is now Loewen, with a Mennonite background. And so on. And having decided I need to make my book into four books instead of one, I'm getting more interested in the character's lives, and adding some people. Renee now has two men in her life. Elinor has a woman "friend" she isn't all that crazy about.
But something much more important is happening. People I liked but might have been able to hold at arm's length before are now getting uncomfortably close to me. These names are familiar ones. These people are familiar. No, I'm not using anyone I know. But I know Manitoba. So the book and the people in it will be much closer to who I am than the original book would have been. Scary – but, I think, good. And likely what that original editor was really talking about when he said the characters weren't well enough developed.
They were developed – it was just that I didn't really care about them. They weren't "my" people. Now they are. And even though it's taken me eight years to get ready to write the book, I'm glad I waited. It's going to be a much better book now.