Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ripping a Character Out of a Novel

I've decided that I need to reduce Sam's significance in Starcaster to a supporting character. He was originally my leading man! First he got upstaged by another guy, then both of them got upstaged by a third guy. While having two potential love interests is interesting, I think three just makes it clunky. I've already switched over some scenes from him to Cecil (changing the story in the process, because Cecil handles things quite differently), now I just have to keep going. I probably won't delete him entirely--he has a rather important job--but I will downgrade his significance quite a bit.

I've written a scene from Tory's background and it worked out so well that I've decided to make it the novel opener. My previous openers (all three versions) had to do with Sam and none of them worked. With this opener, I can introduce Julian and Cecil, instead.

Poor Sam isn't going to like being downgraded, but I'm afraid the drill sergeant (my muse) is running things now.
DS: Mr. Carter! Do you have a problem with your new assignment?
Sam: Sir, no sir!
DS: Then wipe that pathetic pout off your face! Would you prefer it, Mr. Carter, if Mr. Albright took over your role?
Sam: Sir, no sir!
DS: Perhaps, Mr. Carter, you would prefer it if you became the doorman for Mrs. Plummer's Boarding House for Young Ladies?
Sam: Sir?
DS: Sir what? Were you about to call me an asshole?
Sam: Sir, no sir! Sir, Mrs. Plummer doesn't have a doorman, sir!
DS: That's right. Mrs. Plummer. doesn't. have. a. doorman. Do we understand each other, Mr. Carter?
Sam: Sir, yes sir!
DS: Now, on your face and give me fifty!
Sam: Sir, yes sir!


Sigh. Poor Sam just wasn't meant for such abuse. Now Cecil? Cecil would have given that DS a knuckle sandwich. And Julian would have wormed his way into a better role no matter what my intentions were.

9 comments:

  1. This is making me really curious to read the book. :)

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  2. Aww, I feel sorry for Sam! But if it's necessary, then he'll just have to cope. It sounds like a lot of hard work, but it'll be worth it!

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  3. It will require another complete reread, plus another re-read once I'm finished with the changes. Hopefully, by then I'll be in good shape to write the ending, which is still brewing in my mind.

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  4. I gather the reread is needed to find all the spots where he'll need to be reduced, then you'll need to make sure there aren't references to parts that are no longer in the story.

    Will any scenes with Sam stay, or will they all need rework?

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  5. Sam still needs to be in the story. He makes a crucial item, and I really don't want to transfer it to another character. I still have not figured out all the logistics, but I can see at least two more rereads, probably more. I tend to get paranoid after making changes and want to reread the whole thing again, just to make sure I didn't create any weird inconsistencies (which may have happened in a novel I reviewed recently on Fantasy Debut).

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  6. I don't think rereading is being paranoid, more like a much needed action!

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  7. How's the rewrite been coming along?

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  8. Thanks for asking! Right now, it's not going at all. It's been a rather rough week! I'll have to pick up on it in a few days.

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