Friday, May 4, 2012

Cutting Characters

Page by page, I cut out their names.

I erased them, scene by scene.  I didn't even have the decency to give them an honorable death in battle.  Instead, I simply erased them.  Denying them the adventure, and pretending they never existed.

For those of you that have beta read for me, you probably understand why I needed to do it.  The two of them just didn't add to the story.  I realized I was writing lines for them just so I could say they actually contributed to the story.

You guys never got to know them very well, but to me, they were still people.

And even though they didn't really do anything, they helped make the story what it is today.

Thanks Taryah and Hondo.  Sorry I had to delete you.

Do you guys have trouble deleting characters?


On a happier note, have an awesome weekend!


--Jess

13 comments:

Kelley Lynn said...

I've actually never had to delete a character.

That doesn't mean that i shouldn't, I guess.

So maybe I do have an issue getting rid of them. :)

However my betas haven't told me to get rid of any... haha

Miranda Hardy said...

I haven't, yet, but I may need to in the future. Ugh. Have a good weekend Jess.

Tobi Summers said...

I deleted a few characters, but it was really early in the process, after just a few chapters so I hadn't had time to get attached to them. It's good that you were able to recognize them as superfluous and cut them when you needed to though. Who knows? Maybe someday you'll write their story. :-)

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

It's always sad when you have to get rid of a character. Though in my recent case it wasn't so much erasing as just really minimizing the contributions of a couple of characters. Hated to do it but it was necessary to get the word count down and move the story along.

Michelle Pickett said...

I've cut characters before and it hasn't bothered be because I didn't connect with them. So getting rid of them wasn't hard. I haven't had to cut a character I've really liked yet. But I imagine that would be difficult.

Michelle
www.michelle-pickett.com

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I don't like getting rid of characters. Meh. It's hard. I may have to do that, but I'm going to give the novel a rest and reexamine it later.

Rena said...

Yes, and when I do, I hate it. Usually what I do is meld them into another character. So if I love a characteristic, I give it to another character (and see if it works of course).

Jenny Morris said...

AH! I've never had to delete a character. Poor thing. I like the name Hondo.

Oh, and May the 4th be with you. ;0)

JEFritz said...

Of course I have a hard time deleting characters. After all the time I've spent with them, I hate to hit the dreaded delete button. Sometimes it's no fun being a writer.

Avery Marsh said...

I always write too many characters. Both casts of my WIPs need to be whittled down, but I'm having the hardest time figuring who I actually need and who's unnecessary filler. Sounds like you have it down, though. Good luck with the editing.

T. Z. Wallace said...

That is always rough. I am sorry, but you are right...they played their part, and maybe they will end up in another story sometime.

Carrie-Anne said...

A few months ago, I decided to shelve the chronological first series I wrote with my Atlantic City people, back in 6th and 7th grade. I'll be pulling the strongest material out of it to work into my other AC books taking place along the same timeline. And shelving that series (which is really more like novellas) means I'm going to have to cut out a bunch of the pointless characters who popped up during the original characters' first day of 8th grade and throughout high school. These new characters served absolutely no purpose except to give the established people a whole slew of new friends as they got older. Only a lucky few, who actually add to established storylines, are going to stay.

Pk Hrezo said...

It's always tough saying goodbye to them. I created a little literary graveyard for ones that have to go... plus they can always be revived in future stories! :)

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