Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They're there but you can't see them

I just axed a character. I don't mean that I killed her off in the story (with an axe!); I mean that she simply no longer exists.

...Mwah hah hah hah......hah......

I'm plowing through first draft, editing it. Is it too early to do this? I think not. Editing things is my joy in life. I love it like other people love puppies and rainbows.

At page 66 in my manuscript, it becomes so obvious that I wrote this part when I was less than a year out of college. There are details in there about college life that I might have forgotten if I'd started writing this book now. You know, now that I'm one of those older 20-somethings whose idea of cool is stuck permanently in 2003.

One goal right now is to completely write out one of my original suspects, a vivacious high-flyer named Stella Fordham. I still like her. I like her name. But another of my secondary characters can step into her role easily, which helps the book avoid character overload. So Stella gets the axe.

"Stellaaaa! Stellaaaaaaaa!"

Just had to stick that in there for you Tennessee Williams fans out there....or, you know, Marlon Brando fans.

It's just one of those things. I have an entire newspaper staff of characters, a list of all the frats and sororities at the university (along with their colors, mascots and other vitally important information), popular local hangouts and a number of other characters. None of them will ever make it into the book. At least not into this one.

But there could be sequels (I'm jonesing to write one with a kidnapping and a hurricane--preferably occuring simultaneously) where I might need to know that Gamma Lambda Pi's colors are yellow and pink, that Jackson Dawes is the SGA president or that the fictional university's mascot is a lion.

And who knows, maybe Stella Fordham will one day get the limelight she deserves.


Rickelle said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Your page is absolutely adorable!

Jane Smith said...

Count yourself lucky. My interpretation of cool is stuck firmly in the 1980s and there's not a thing I can do.