Writing

Deciding when to cut out a character from your draft

I’m struggling with this problem in my current project. It’s so hard because I want them in the story, so I’m finding ways to make them relevant to the plot. Reinventing the connections between characters and changing their pasts and it’s wracking my brain. I’m going to reflect on this post throughout the month when I decide whether or not one or more have to wisp into non-existence…or at least not show up until the next episode.

Blighted Echoes

Unfortunately, most of us reach a point in our drafts and revisions where we must ask ourselves “is this character relevant?” Unfortunately, that can happen with characters you’ve spent so much time writing back stories for, and no matter what you try to do, you just can’t fit them into the main story. Here are some questions you should ask yourself about most, if not all, of your characters, even the ones you don’t suspect could be a victim of this uselessness.

1. How does this character advance the plot? Is there something this character brings to the table that others don’t? How much do they contribute to not only actions, but in conversation as well? If you find yourself groaning every time you try to find them screen time or dialogue time, it might be a good idea to cut them out of the story entirely.

2. If something…

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