The blog of author Harper Alexander

Where Did That Character Go?

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I don’t know if this happens to any of the rest of you writers, but one of the problems I’ve run into with finishing up The Tournament of Eden is that, somehow, one of the main-ish characters has managed to work his way out of the story. He’s all but disappeared. Where did he go? I’m not really sure.

Obviously, this won’t do. And it’s never happened to me on this scale before. Occasionally I don’t give a character as much attention as I ought to, but it can usually be fixed by going back and giving him a few extra lines, or an extra scene. In this case, that’s not going to work. This character has completely extracted himself from the story, to the point that he might as well have not been in it to begin with.

Which begs the question – does he indeed need to be in it at all? I have never, ever cut a character before. That’s always something I’ve heard writers talk about as a necessary evil, but the idea has always horrified me. Once I create a character, he lives and breathes. I can’t just CUT HIM. It’s sort of a policy of mine.

But I really don’t know how to fit this character into the last half of the book. I feel like he IS relevant to the first half, and therefore has to stay in the book, but there’s just no good place to stick him in for the last half. But he CANNOT JUST DISAPPEAR AND NOT BE HEARD FROM AGAIN.

Has anyone else ever lost a character before?



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