Reader # 1 looked at draft#2 and said, I'm 95% there. What's still missing is the protagonist's soul lay bare. Okay, they're my words, but that's what she meant. In a short story, there is no time for this but it's essential in a novel unless I want my protagonist to seem like a sociopath, which doesn't make sense in light of her actions. She's dark but not that dark.
I am finding this very difficult to do. Do your characters ever elude you to the very end of the book (story)? Do you feel you know them but can't quite find a way to imbed this information artfully? First reader says to write (by hand) a monologue where she tells me about herself, all walls down. Ask her questions and write her response.
How do you get the inside out with your writing or is it only me who finds this difficult?