Writing Characters out

For me the decision to erase a character’s existence completely is harder than writing a death scene. It is often necessary to make the story the best it can be. During the first draft, characters may be spread thin, one for each role and often this leaves the story feeling disjointed.
I wrote two major characters out of my manuscript. Before doing so, I asking myself what the story would look like without them. What was each of their role? Were they necessary to the premise? Or could one of the other characters do what they were doing just as well?
This mean increasing the role of some minor characters but let me dive deeper into each individual character without being overwhelmed by having too many people, who weren’t driving the story forward.
It takes a big commitment and a lot of work to write out a character, but your story will be better for it. Every character must have a purpose, you should know them deeply and their goals should drive their role in the story. If they aren’t fulfilling their role, it might be times to consider letting them go. Even if it breaks your heart to erase them.

5 thoughts on “Writing Characters out

  1. The whole “Kill your darlings” thing is a difficult one. I have a character in my story, who is by no means a big character nor was he meant to be, and I feel perhaps the story would work just as well, maybe better, without him… But, I can’t bring myself to do so… Yet. I’m hoping if I can flesh him out more and give him more meaning he may be saved. But who knows. Perhaps I need to write him out?

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    1. Sorry Shaun I only just saw this!! I hope you’ve found a solution. You’re the only one who can make that choice. I wrote out a major character who was very present in my first draft but when I stepped back and had a look at the overall story I realised he wasn’t contributing much at all. I felt horrible erasing him but the story turned out better because of it. I think the only way to do it is to ask yourself what that character is contributing and if you can strengthen their role, otherwise it might be time for the chopping block. Hope that helps even though it took a while. Sorry again!

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      1. No need to apologise! Sometimes comments get lost 🙂 Thanks for your advice! I haven’t got around to terasing characters yet… I like to think my character will stick around, but only time will tell!

        Liked by 1 person

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