Thursday, September 22, 2011

When You Need to Delete a Character

On the advice of some of my critique buddies, I've cut out one of the characters in my latest project. I know it's for the best (she didn't make a strong contribution to the plot). It also meant I had to cut out some funny lines, but I'll get over it.

Have you ever had to cut a character? Does it give you a strange sense of satistfaction (like being a puppet master where they are all in your control) or does it make you sad?

9 comments:

  1. I had to cut three characters--two deserved to go, but I really liked the third guy. When I got the third beta reaction that there were too many characters to keep track of, I had to let him go. It was really sad for me, because I had a hilarious scene written with him in the starring role. I just tell myself that he'll work his way into another novel :)

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  2. It always makes me a little sad when someone (or some great or really funny scene) has to go. But I try to focus on what's best for the story.

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  3. It's a hard thing to do, but once you've done it I think the doubt quickly passes and pretty soon it feels liek it should always have been that way.

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino

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  4. Often several characters can be blended into one, and the work is stronger for it.

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  5. I cut a character, but it was early on as I was writing chapter one. I melded 2 characters together into one (I was introducing too many all at once!) Sadness about cutting your funny lines though; my sympathies.

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  6. Yes I completely combined two characters on a previous manuscript and even though it required rewrites it was totally needed!

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  7. Like Laura, I just combined two characters into one and then got rid of two more completely.

    I felt bad, but then I thought I could use them in my next projects, so I didn't kill them off forever.

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  8. I always feel terrible about my deleted characters, like they're floating in limbo somewhere. I can usually find another character to take on their load (and hopefully their good lines, too). But I never fully escape the feeling that they're out there, waiting for me and angry about it. I'd like to think the hardest character I had to cut will be back someday and be stronger for it.

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  9. I always hope I can use those characters in another story. But it doesn't seem to happen.

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