September 26, 2023
Why Writers Remove Some Characters but Keep Others?

Why Writers Remove Some Characters but Keep Others?

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 Last week  and this  week I have discussed my  deleted character   Zios and why  I sort of deleted him from  my 2nd draft .  But today I wanted  to discuss  why writers  in general  might   remove characters   but keep others.  I  will try to come up with an answer as best as I can  with my experience as a writer  so far. 

 Okay so   the reason  why I  think some writers  remove some characters and  keep   others   is because the  character simply doesn’t work  well with   the scene,  or story   all  together.  Their  histories  might be  minimal . They might  even take up space   that   is needed   for the main character . And  we don’t need  to write  words  for  just filling up space or  word count  now  do we?   In my experience. In my own opinion I think it is better never to write a character or scene just to make your word count goal.

When going   through my first draft   I  found   that I  had wrote many  unnecessary  scenes with unnecessary characters just to get to 80,000 words . Those characters  that I cut from the first  draft are like 2 or three  so far. There might be more I cut as  I go along.  

The  problem that I found with the first draft and the  characters that I cut  was that  they  didn’t  really have a reason to be in the story .  I found myself  trying  to just-  I guess  make up stuff  as I went along for those characters  and their  scenes  with  the main  character.   I  mean  they may have been  good  characters  by themselves  but their  interaction  with the main  character  just didn’t fit well. It was forced and not natural .  

For example  the main characters  mother had a  husband in the first draft .  A step father  to the main character .  The  main characters mother  also  had a boss  that  had  an  infatuation with her .  Both of  them  hated my main character . However  I couldn’t  fit the interaction with her and   the step father  character   together  well  because  I   really didn’t  have  a  substantial enough  back story,  or  motivations   for the  stepfather character  .   I  felt  in my mind he was a throw  away character I  guess.   So in my  current  2nd draft .  He is deleted  altogether but  I  have kept   the infatuated boss  character  who in  the 2nd draft   has become  the boyfriend  to  the main characters  mother and  I keep the  histories  and interactions between him and  the main character  that  I  had in the first draft.  But since the  step father character is cut   from this  current draft the interactions between the  boss character and my  main character fills more justified  and stronger than it was. The silent hate they have for each other is  comes out stronger as well.

I even thought  about cutting  more  characters  but you’ll  see what  I finally  did when  I  finish the book  for publication.

 Removing characters  and keeping others  is hard  to do .  But in the end  there  is always a justifiable reason to do it .  Because  it in a way could make   your novel stand out and be so much  better .  That’s also why revising  your drafts  are important.

So  I  Know  it’s  hard but you know the saying  writers say when  in doubt kill your darlings  from the page.

If you liked this blog post and you want to  see more content involving my work in progress During the Blue Hour Follow , Like , share  . But first  LET’S START A DIALOGUE

 Why did you  cut your characters  from your novels?  

 I  want to know so let me know in the comments  below.

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