Tuesday, September 4, 2007


You've probably heard it said before, but sometimes you have to kill your little darlings. Whoever first said that may have been referring to cutting prose, but I think it could also apply to characters. I have a problem with putting too many characters into my early drafts. If they stay with me through several drafts it is really difficult to say goodbye. Especially if I had such wonderful plans for them.

Yesterday I had to commit murder. Not literally, of course. But after much gut-searching, I realized a character wasn't going to work. Her presence would have caused another storyline that I didn't need. And maybe most importantly, her existence caused some problems historically.

So I took a deep breath, put my index finger on the delete button and pushed. Surprisingly, it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. That probably means I did the right thing. I loved her adopted name though and I gave it to another character whose existence makes perfect sense.

Today I was rewarded by making that choice because the rewriting went well and my story is starting to feel right. It's kind of scary to come to that conclusion this far into the process, but it's exciting, too.

I wish I could have spent the entire day rewriting, but I also had a radio interview, wrote some thank you notes, cleaned up my database for a mailing, and checked the proofs on my business cards. That's okay, I thought, tomorrow I can rewrite all day. Then I got the call. My editor told me that the proofs for the next Piper Reed book were ready and would arrive tomorrow. I think I need a cupcake.

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