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Breaking Eggs

January 1, 2010

I think I’m going to have to kill a character today.

It’s a less-than-palatable notion for a few reasons: I’m only on my first chapter! It’s January 1st; do I really want to start off 2010 as a murderer? Gosh darn it, I like this character. (As opposed to characters I’ve offed in the past, who were doing nobody any good and simply had to be excised as quickly as possible.)

Unfortunately, I don’t think it can be avoided. It can be delayed, certainly, as evidenced by the fact that I’m currently writing this entry instead of plotting said character’s demise. But I highly doubt it can be avoided.

As they say, you can’t make an omelet without cracking a few eggs. And I don’t think I can write this book without killing a few characters. So. Deep breaths. Off I go…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    January 1, 2010 4:43 pm

    I am laughing with you here–have you seen “Stranger Than Fiction?” –if not you really should! I have been sticking to non-fiction because the characters I intend to kill I make really boring-not to be missed people anyway—I can’t kill the interesting ones….

    • January 1, 2010 5:03 pm

      Oh yes, Stranger Than Fiction is excellent! Of course, with that reference in my head, now I’ll probably have even more difficulty dispatching with characters…

      The problem this time around was that I didn’t initially know this character would have to die. By the time I realized that, it was too late to go down the “oh, you’re boring, anyway” path. I’ve definitely done that in the past, though, and you’re right–it’s significantly harder to do away with the interesting ones!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! What sort of non-fiction have you been working on?

  2. January 1, 2010 5:32 pm

    Hi – here from The Friendly Atheist/Facebook! Yes, as some famous writer once said, sometimes you have to “murder your darlings.” I don’t think that applied exclusively to characters – it could be those glittering scenes you’ve fallen in love with but do absolutely nothing to further the plot, or a point-of-view that just isn’t working. Be brave. Be ruthless. You Are Writer!

    • January 1, 2010 5:48 pm

      Hi, Candace! Thanks for coming by! I’ve bookmarked your blog, and look forward to exploring it. :)

      Sadly, yes–sometimes those darlings have simply got to go. I always try to keep the hope alive that someday they may prove useful again in another context. I LOVE “Be brave. Be ruthless. You Are Writer!” as an inspirational mantra! Thank you for the encouragement!

      • January 2, 2010 10:27 am

        Eh. My blog. I haven’t blogged in ages. I’ve been more active on Fb. Does this accept html? Try it for my Fb profile: I have written a Japanese historical novel (post-war Japan) that an agent looked at and suggested a rewrite. I did the rewrite and it’s now under review, but it’s taking forever for her to decide whether to represent me. (It’s also been rejected by several agents.) My NY’s resolution is to finish the mystery I’ve spent years on. Got stuck 2/3rds of the way through. Writing is hard work (for me, anyway) and I’m not very prolific. Anyway, yes – keep hope alive and remember to keep a “dump” file for anything you don’t use now, because as you say, someday they may prove useful in another context. You never know where a whole new story may be lurking.

  3. January 3, 2010 8:20 pm


    I don’t think writing is easy work for anyone! It sounds like you’ve taken on really interesting projects, and I wish you all the best with your continuing work on them. Do you have a preferred genre? Shifting gears from a Japanese historical novel to a mystery seems like it would be tricky!

    Thanks so much again for your support!


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