“Shit!” Said Pointless.
Before this post goes on I just want to say this week I’ll be posting the first chapter of my novel, ‘Where There Are No Eyes’ for critique. Be harsh or i’ll never learn. Thank you.
And damn right you should be saying shit mutha fucka (to be said in the voice of Samuel L Jackson). Today (July 18th) I edited chapter 7 of ‘Where There Are No Eyes‘ (formally Shadow of Doubt) which had a character whose purpose seemed a little pointless. He just seemed to be filling a hole and checking a minority box.
Bad character, BAD!
Or is it bad writer!?
Anyway, I cut the guy. Sorry dude, but you’re outta here. I’ve said before you should think of writing as a job, not a hobby (if you want to make a living doing this) which means you’re self-employed doing this job on your own. The last thing you need is hangers on. Streamline the shit out of it and get rid of crap you don’t need.
When you write a novel you’re either an under writer or an over writer.
Someone who doesn’t write enough material and ends up having to expand on your first draft.
Someone who writes a first draft with EVERYTHING! And ends up cutting away the fat.
Either way during your edits you’re going to be streamlining your novel. Removing crap words and sentences you don’t need, maybe whole chapters. You’re trying to make the book a good read by removing crap you don’t need.
Look, you ain’t J R R Tolkien and you haven’t written a Tom Bombadil character. I had a character, and reading him for the first time after writing him, realised he exists to check a minority box, which isn’t a good enough reason to keep a pointless character. What’s worse is when I removed everything he did and said in chapter 7 (his introduction) I only had to give one line of dialogue to someone else, the rest I just deleted and the chapter didn’t seem to notice. Basically the definition of a pointless character. This is the kind of stuff you won’t be notice in your outline. But watch out for it in your edits.
If you think you can do without someone or something, read the chapter without it, if it still works remove it. Then wonder why you put it there in the first place. And give it serious though as to whether you need it.