I killed someone today. No, not a spider. Not even a “real” person, actually.
Simple Sarah, the novel I am working on (and have been for the past 5 yrs), had too many characters. The Sword-Swinging, Glow-In-The-Dark Priestess
has had three others with her in the beginning of the book. So I killed one of them. And not even a funeral. I deleted her.
Tamara (that was her name) still exists but as I go through this rewrite, I am changing it and removing her. By the time I get to page 184, she will be gone. Death by deletion. What’s sad is that I won’t miss her. I’ll miss her horse more. Isn’t that sad? Amber (the horse) was a delicate “well-bred” who liked to crush skulls with her feet. She was a wanna-be warhorse. Tamara’s role in the book was minimal and frankly, never went anywhere. She died at the end of the first mammoth writing of the book. She never really did anything. In one re-write, she was the lost daughter of the King but, eh, that was one plot line too many.
I don’t have conversations with my characters. They don’t talk to me. Which is good ’cause I’d freak if Tamara were to be pleading for her life. Worse yet would be if Amber were to appear and start wanting to crush my skull. I’m insane enough, thank you. I don’t need fictional characters talking to me. I do, however, see them in movies. They act out a scene or something and I get an idea for how the scene works or doesn’t work. And Tamara wasn’t working. She just didn’t fit and was a named extra. (Tamara, the sidekick vs Archer #4)
The removal of Tamara caused a minor plot problem that, in fixing it, made the overall plot more believeable anyway. The overall time line has shifted by two years. Lea (the Sword-Swinging, Glow-In-The-Dark Priestess) and the other two with her are now two years younger. This is better, much better.
So, Tamara, it was good to know you. And Amber, sweetie, in reality, you were too delicate boned a horse to be able to crush skulls so well. Perhaps, if I find I miss you two, I’ll put you in somewhere in the Big Final Battle in book three. But then, I’d only kill you off again.