I extensively revised Enter Title Here after the book sold: I deleted and rewrote almost a third of the book. But the revision wasn’t even. Some sections–most sections–of the book were completely untouched. I only changed the parts that dealt with her parents, her best friend, and her love interests. But all the scheming and chicanery involving her school–the stuff that some might call the core of the book–remained mostly the same.
This was interesting to me. The protagonist in the rewritten parts of the book seemed, to me, to be qualitatively different from the person in the rest of the book. She was softer and more unsure of herself. More confused than she was angry.
But I am positive that nobody can tell, just from reading the final draft of the book, which parts are new and which parts are old. Because the two Reshmas coexist in the book in a complex ways. In practice, they’re different because I wrote them at different times and for different purposes. But the effect, in the book, is one of complexity. Because people act differently towards different people in their lives. Our parents bring out a different side of us than our friends do. And if someone was to view us in both situations, we might even seem like different people, but we wouldn’t be. The differences would actually make us seem realer.
(One thing I hate in novels is when a character is so predictable that you always know how they’re going to act in every situation, no matter who they’re dealing with)