Tuesday, 21 April 2015

What the heck does kill your darlings mean? (Part III) #writing

Enjoy him while you can. Sexy book man.
For those of you who missed the first two parts of this topic, Find Part I here, and Part II here.

On to the last and final installment. I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath.

Getting rid of the excess characters in the story.

Sometimes there are just too many characters in a story which makes it confusing and difficult to follow.

Confession: I stopped reading a book by a very popular author because she had too many named characters in the novel. It was a murder mystery so you’d think that everyone who’s mentioned in the book would be important.

My head space is light years away from possessing a photogenic memory. I tend to confuse people’s names in real life, what more fictional characters?

I have difficulty coming up with names in my books to begin with so if I don’t need to name a character I don’t. Sometimes my beta readers or editors tell me to give a character a name just because if I don’t, things get confusing.

To be honest I have no trouble getting rid of excesses characters if they aren’t doing anything to propel the story forward.

I’m curious, did you ever have to remove a character from a story?


  1. Ooh, great post topic! Can't believe I've missed the first two parts. I've definitely had to remove characters from my projects before. It hurts initially, but it always ends up being for the better in the long run. The more characters there are, the less "screen time" they're able to have, which just isn't fair to them or their individual story arcs...

    1. I can imagine how much it hurts for you. You've seen your characters on the page, literally, Heather.

  2. I'm not a writer but I've definitely felt that way when reading before. I quite a popular paranormal series because of that. I was fine with all of the couples and their books but they went from being a book about 2 people to what was supposed to be a book about 2 people falling in love and ended up being a book about 12+ characters with all different storylines and it was just too much to keep processed. :/

  3. I get confused when reading books with lots of characters; I: have trouble processing the names and their functions. I sincerely hope my novel would only have characters that are relevant to the development of the storyline.

    1. If that's what you want, then you can make it happen, Celestine. No confusion for the reader.


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