Killing off a Character

So, as Myriad knows, I was contemplating deleting one of my characters. A young man named Seymour Pigeon (which of course is not his real name, but he likes it), who didn’t really have much purpose in my story.

Then I realized that he does have purpose, so I can’t get rid of him

But I still feel like I have too many characters.

I have my main girl. And then the romantic interest. And then she gets on a ship with the father-figure one, one who’s kinda like a big protective brother, one who bakes and sews, and then two that don’t really do much of anything. Eventually, Seymour Pigeon(s) shows up (I can’t remember right now if there’s an s on his name, whoops).

Later, I add the main girl’s father, grandparents, the other set of grandparents are there for like … a page … and then I add another brother and sister. The sister becomes a more main character.

So, if this were like a TV show …

Anastasia: main character

Scott: main romantic interest, but disappears for part of the season

Clyde: father figure, series regular

Owen: series regular

Jinx: was more regular before, now he’s a bit erratic

Klaus/Metzler: supporting cast. Periodically show up when I don’t want Owen doing everything.

Michael: father, recurring role

Grandparents set 1: recurring role

Grandparents set 2: non-recurring, only one episode type role

Melia: introduced late in the season, becomes series regular

Jon: introduced late, recurring role

Anyway, I think you can get the idea. I end up with an awful lot of people, but there’s not that much going on for them to be doing. So I had wanted to kill of Seymour. I do kill off Metzler. And so I was just going to kill off Seymour at the same time. But Myriad likes him.

And then I was thinking about it … maybe I should make Metzler and Klaus the same person. I mean, neither one of them does anything important (sad but true). I feel like it’s bad to have too many useless characters.

Of course, I can’t get rid of all of them, because they are on a ship, and you need a certain number of people to fly the ship, right? And where did I get this random arbitrary number? Well, you’ve got Mal, Zoe, Wash, Jayne, and Kaylee, so that’s 5 people, so I’ve got Clyde, Jinx, Owen, Klaus, and Metzler.

My logic. It’s astounding.

Anyway, so I’ve decided to merge Klaus and Metzler and end up with … Klatzler … no, I’ll just keep the name Metzler I think. And then I’m still going to kill him halfway through the book. But Seymour is there, so he can step in. And ta-da! All my problems are fixed!

Well, not all, but that one, anyway.

So, Myriad, you’ve read the first 78 pages. Do you think I could easily get rid of one of the characters?

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Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. Well, I haven’t met any of the family. If I remember correctly, you could easily combine Klaus and Metzler, but I don’t think it’s too much of a big deal one way or the other. Sometimes you just need extra bodies for realism; maybe Ana doesn’t interact with them much, but they’re there. I’m thinking of the summer I worked in a lab where I had significant interaction with one grad student (we’ll call him Scott), some interaction with the professor (Clyde), some interaction with one of the other students (Owen), and then the occasional interaction with the other three/four/five (it kept changing) people in the lab (Klaus, Metzler, Seymour). If I were to write a novel of my lab experience, the Klaus/Metzler/Seymour people would show up from time to time whenever I needed another body, but I wouldn’t bother to develop their characters much since I (Ana) didn’t actually interact with them enough to get to know them very well.

    • okay, well maybe I’ll just leave them. you’ll have to let me know when you read it.

    • okay, well maybe I’ll just leave them. you’ll have to let me know when you read it.


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