Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snipping Words and Deleting Grandma

Wading through pages and paragraphs, trying to find the path that will make this book better... Well, it ain't easy. Blink is giving me fits. It haunts my brain, especially while I'm trying to fall asleep. It whispers to me in the shower, and while I'm outside smoking.

The old words are still there, and while they aren't right, they're trying to claim some strange type of seniority. "Well, we were here first," they say in a somewhat whiny voice. "How could you try to replace us with new words?" Entitlement mentality for the verbage, I guess. I know it's wrong, and I suspect, so do they. But there they are, staring back at me every time I try to re-write chapter two. And they aren't the worst of it. During this re-write, I'm deleting a few minor - and wholly unnecessary - characters. They aren't doing more than taking up space. They only have a couple of lines at most, and they aren't driving the story forward.

But they don't want to die.

Of course, it doesn't help that the one named character I'm going to delete was named after my grandmother. Silly me. I have to delete my grandmother. Good thing she's already gone, or she'd chew me out for certain. (Let's just say she wasn't a cookie-baking, soft and cuddly grandma and leave it at that. I don't want to speak ill of the dead.) Don't get me wrong. Grandma was a great character. She may make an appearance in one of my other books someday. But not here.

Anyway, to get around the words on my screen, and stop their incessant whining, I decided to print them out and get rid of them that way. I'll just take them over to the couch, do the necessary snipping and when I have a new chapter two, I'll bring it over here for the finally dirty work.

Sorry Grandma.

For today's question, let me know if you've ever named characters after relatives/loved ones, and whether you've ever had to kill off or delete someone you knew (in your writing, of course).

1 comment:

Kristen Painter said...

I try not to create family based characters, although I do have one with the same name as my father in my current WIP.

I had to combine 3 friends into 2 once. I still think about the one that got away. Maybe she'll show up again in a different book.