Thursday, October 16, 2008


I've got a short story I've been tinkering with and tweaking, lately. One of the side-characters comes across particularly well, and the folks I've shown the early drafts to really like her and think she's pretty neat, but that she doesn't have a lot to do in the story.

My main thought, then, is, "Well, I'll give her more to do in order to justify her place in the story." Simple, right?

Some of my fellow writers, though, have suggested, "You could always just cut her and use her for a different story, instead."

And for some reason, that feels really weird to me. Intellectually, I know that if I pulled her from Story A and placed her in Story B, nobody (well, nobody who hadn't read any drafts) would know that I'd done it, and if I did it right, her place in the new story would be fine and natural and dandy.

Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to try something like that. In this particular case, though, I'm trying to get the character to work for the story she's already in, trying to justify her existence in that special way that we writers so often have to.

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