Thanks so much for this very educational and supportive article on your blog Blonde Write More, on how to survive deleting characters. So far I haven’t had to do that yet – but I admit, I had to kill one of mine which nearly broke my heart.
Writing the death of a much-loved character can be demanding and can leave you emotionally wiped out.
Did you know that there is another literary situation which can be just as challenging and one which can cast a nasty gloom over your writing life – deleting a character from your story.
I am not talking about deleting a random minor character; a fictional person who you created one day after too much coffee and inserted into the middle of your novel, just to beef it out (technical literary term) and then deleted them the following day after realising your stupidity. *Sigh*
No. I am talking about those major changes to a draft which result in you deciding to get rid of a key character.
I guarantee this fictional person will have been with you since the start of your story and someone who you have history with. You and this character will have been through some stuff; your rocky first draft, that dreadful second draft which no one liked, your third draft where you felt all hope was lost and the fourth draft which resulted in you wondering why the hell you had ever taken up writing.
You and this character will have shared story in-jokes. They will have been there for you during the bad times. You know them inside out and they are like a good friend.
Derek Haines teaches us about selling books on Amazon. Thanks so much for another one of your valuable lessons. I very much appreciate your educational posts, and I’m sure not the only one, Derek. Thank you!
Selling books on Amazon is a tough business
If you are a self-publishing author, it is easy to forget that Amazon sells a lot of products apart from books.
Listing your books for sale is only a tiny part of what Amazon sells. It sells everything from home-delivered groceries to complex security installations.
But can you imagine that there is a lucrative market for wordless books?
Well, in fact, a wordless picture book can earn far more than you are earning for your fiction book of 100,000 words.
Anne R. Allen’s new post informs us about 10 Do’s and Don’ts for starting a novel. Thanks so much for helping young authors with your blog post, Anne. I’m convinced that’s very helpful – and not only to young authors.
I’ve had questions from several writers recently about how to approach a first chapter. New writers hear so many rules about what they must do in the first line, first paragraph, and first chapter that they can feel paralyzed, afraid to write a word.
Let’s hope that NaNoWriMo is helping some of you fight that paralysis!
Yes, there are a lot of rules about writing a first chapter, but the truth is there are as many ways to start your novel as there are writers.
However, some openers are better than others for enticing a new reader, and beginning writers tend to fall into tired patterns that don’t always work. I know I did. We need to remember that the modern reader expects a story to start on page one.
So don’t take these as hard and fast rules. Professional writers break them all the time. They’re just tips. But they might help you in dealing with those first chapter blues.
K. M. Allan writes about a challenge we writers face daily, hourly and even every minute… a challenge we fear, a mountain of a problem we hate. Let’s see how K. M. Allan tells us we will one-day love editing. Thanks so much for this great post, K. M. Allan!
The real truth of writing is that you will spend a lot of time editing. A. Lot. Of. Time. Hours, weeks, months, sometimes even years (or at least, what feels like years).
When the rush of new ideas is gone. When the thrill of filling in plot holes and working out twists is over. When the story’s set in stone but you still need to shape that stone into a majestic statue, that’s editing. And it’s something, as a writer, you need to love doing.
The first step of learning to love editing is accepting you must do it. The sooner you do, the easier it is to work through drafts that feel endless.
Lucy Mitchell published a very helpful post on her ‘Blonde Write More’ blog. The post is mainly helpful to a writer’s better half and I think she gets a few points that not only made me smile but nodding enthusiastically. See for yourself. Thanks so much, Lucy!
It’s not easy being married to a writer. We are strange creatures.
Here are some useful tips on how to survive being married to a writer:
1. Accept the fact that you will spend a lot of your marriage talking about people, events and locations that don’t actually exist.
2. When your writer wakes you in the small hours with an amazing new idea for their next story you need to wake up, switch on the light and let them talk it through. Moaning about what time it is, how tired you are and what you have on at work is not going to help your writer. This is a big moment for them, it’s the birth of something wonderful. Your support is needed 24-7.
3. Marital relations and their writing ‘ups and downs’ will become interlinked. When their writing is going well you can expect good times, kisses and smiles. When their writing is not going so well you can expect tension, tears and tantrums.