merging characters

I saw something about how you want to keep characters down in a story. If you can show that Jane is overwhelmed with her parenting responsibly with five kids as well as ten, have there be five kids. If you only need one sidekick, don’t have two. (But don’t strip things down either. Just writing now, it might be interesting to make it look like our heroine, Jane Doe, has two sidekicks to help her out, Bob and Jessica, when in reality Bob becomes a distraction because of her growing interest/love for him, and becomes more of a separate plot device.)

I realized today that I might have a situation where I can move two characters together. See, I created Jess who lives on a colony planet. Much of her purpose is to show why people with seposomen can be feared. (Seposomen is the special skill that some people have, both hero and villain.) She is also there to watch two of the leaders of the seposomen circle decide they are going to move anyone who wants a safe place from the home planet here. (One of the characters in that story is MIles, who plays a very important role after Part/Book 1.)

But in all honesty, her plot is very poor. There is only one scene of hers that will be interesting or good, and that is when her ex-boyfriend comes in and tries to shoot up the restaurant, and Miles stops him. I’m still struggling for a good story with her, that will keep readers from moaning that they have to read about Jess again.

On the other side of the system, at the home planet, I have Eric. Eric is a friend of Vanessa and has been since grade school. He just got married and, at the end of the book, his wife is going be basically killed by the people with seposomen (but the bad group of them.)

All this is in accordance with prophecy.

Not really. I just thought of that line about how to annoy people, by ending things with “in accordance with prophecy.”

Eric and Jess are the only non-seposomen characters in the whole story, minus third-ranked characters, such as Lucas, and other one-scene people. Both of them, by the end, will have a reason why to dislike the people with seposomen. Eric, because, obviously, his wife was killed. Jess, because the guy with Miles decides to hold her captive after she finds out about seposomen. (This isn’t public knowledge at the end of Part 1.)

So can I merge them?

I’ll admit, I don’t know everything that the characters will be doing. I was thinking something along the lines of when Vanessa is captured later on (oooo), Jess could be the one to actually set her free. And Jess  could show that some people realize that seposomen, in the hands of the right people, is safe and go back to the colony when Karl goes semi-narcissistic.

But I can just as easily have Eric both those things, with saving Vanessa because he is friends with her and believes her when she says that she had nothing to do with blowing up the subway. And I can have him also go back to the colony with Miles in the end.

The only problem is I really want to do that scene with the guy in the restaurant, but I think it would be more effective anyway to write something from Miles’ POV, including that scene, than to write it from Jess’ scene, while she’s trying to run. Or, I could possibly have Isaiah do it randomly, but that will probably be too much, since he’s already said to be really awesome and by having Miles do it instead of Isaiah, readers would then see that Miles is just as good as Isaiah is, if not better.  (Or I could have Miles and Isaiah do it together at the end of the story, but that’s probably not as good of an idea, because it’ll be such a distractor.)

It’s times like these that I wish I had a writer friend. I don’t, not really. And no writing group either. It’s just me, trying to figure everything out on my own. But, surprisingly, these blog entries are actually helping a lot. This is two for two now that I think I know what I’m doing.

So it looks like the key then to coming out of writer’s block–freewrite the problem and it’ll come.

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About Abigail

I'm an elementary education major at a college in the Midwest. I might graduate as early as December '13 but more likely May '14. I write when I can. I also knit on occasion, draw, do homework and contradict teachers to make people think. :)

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