Most writers know that at some point they have to “murder their little darlings.” This means that what we thought was great prose and dialogue gets the chop and goes into the virtual rubbish can or filed away for future use.

I recently introduced three characters into the plot. One was originally in the story and then taken out. I finally decided to add her back in and manipulate her in a way that she works in the story. A secondary character I recently introduced is part of the narrator’s backstory and he is appearing in the present to instigate trouble. So what’s the problem? I don’t know how to fit him into the story line that makes sense and that we won’t become a distraction to readers.

I’ve spent several days pondering the particulars in my head, writing different scenes, deleting them, and ending up with this question: Should I dump him?  The answer: I don’t know.

It’s been a back and forth battle of wanting to get rid of this character and then feeling very bad for all the time and effort I put in the backstory. What to do? Give it a few more pages and hope to see the light if he really works or doesn’t. If not, it’s off with his head. If he plays well with others and cooperates then he might stick around…

Sigh, back to the salt mines….



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