Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Character Hokey Cokey

'You put the old man in, take the young woman out,
You do a bit of writing and you shake it all about...'

Sometimes writing a novel is a bit like doing the Hokey Cokey. You put something in, take something out, turn it around and shake it all about. A character, scene, a plot development: and that's just the first chapter.

It doesn't seem to matter how much planning you put into a story, at some point you have a' lightbulb moment' where you realise that a character/scene/plot device doesn't work. You then have to rewrite it whilst trying to keep the story sensible.

At the moment I'm reconsidering one of the characters in my novel. Having said that, I have been thinking about this character for sometime. She's been a ship's captain, a security officer, a historian and even a man. The character has, in short, been a pain and a joy to write.

So I've decided to promote another, much better character to the fore, and delete her.

I have enjoyed writing some of her scenes and it will mean a different telling of the story, but her removal doesn't affect the main plot one little bit. That the story can be told without her is probably the most telling part of her role in the novel.

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