Monday, April 28, 2014

X: Proceed with Caution

Three letters left in this challenge. I really struggled with what to post today. Last week I started writing a new teen novel. Think spy thriller set in Chicago. I love using K.M. Weiland's Structuring Your Novel. It takes about five minutes to outline your basic story structure. You can always go back later and fill in more details. Are you wondering where I'm headed with this "X" post?

Proceed with caution if you are a character in my new book. Do you enjoy this part as a writer--X-ing characters or killing them off? Maybe your writing doesn't include these acts of God. I feel kind of bad (kind of:) already deciding which lives will be spared and which ones will be X-ed. Sometimes I stop over a character's name ready to eliminate them, but then decide to give them a fighting chance. (Only to change my mind and realize they must go, later at the end of the novel after they've served their purpose.) My other two novels I've written aren't exactly like this. They're geared toward a younger audience.

I'd like to leave you with a pic of my son's X-ray of his badly broken arm. You can see the two metal plates and thirteen screws. :)

How many characters do you usually eliminate per book? Have you ever kept a character and later decided it was best to keep him alive or decided to get rid of him at the last minute?Do you decide ahead of time how many injuries your MC will incur throughout your novel?

#atozchallenge #amwriting #characters #outlining 
Photos: Chicago photo courtesy of free images. X-ray found on my Instagram

18 comments:

  1. It's amazing they can fix a bone that way.
    I've only killed one character. Hated to do it, but the story wouldn't have moved forward otherwise.

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    1. Only one? Me too. But that's about to change;-)

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  2. Very scary looking x-ray. Since my writing is geared toward an adult audience, I do kill off characters, but with care. There must be a reason to do it.

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  3. Interesting post for the letter 'X' :)

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  4. The X-ray looks scary, two metal plates and thirteen screws. I am yet to kill a character.

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    1. I almost passed out when the doc showed me:)

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  5. My WIP is a thriller and a bunch of people die. I've had a hard time killing them. I also switched my murderer several times. I keep finding I like the person too much to make them the killer! lol

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    1. I find that so humorous! I've switched up my antagonist before but for different reasons:) I'm about to experience killing a bunch of people--in my WIP.

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  6. I'm more of a panster, so the story itself usually tells me whether the characters are going to live or die. I'm trying to become more of a plotter though, so I don't know what will happen to characters in the future and how I will decide.

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    1. It's good to plan but also leave room for the story to lead:)

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  7. Oh my goodness... Your poor boy. =(

    I love killing characters. Seriously. You'll find at least one heavy death scene in every single one of my books, and some periphery deaths. (Okay, maybe that's not quite true. My urban fantasies are a little lighter on the death angle, or maybe I'm just not done with them.) I think death is a part of life, and cutting it out of your writing is like showing a single wheel of cheese when it sit on a shelf with ten others. How can you do that? ;)

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    1. I know. I constantly look at his double scar (five inch Frankenstein stitches on either side of his arm) and think, "My baby!" He just gives me the look (I'm fine, Mom:)

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  8. I write middle grade fiction, so no characters are harmed during the making of my books!

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    1. :) I have written several MG books, but I'm thinking it's time to up the suspense and thriller aspect of my writing.

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  9. It's terrible of me to say...but I actually do enjoy Xing characters off. I don't get it, because everyone says I'm a nice person...but I like it!

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    1. Hahaha! Yes, they tell me that, too;-) We know how to hide our dark side!

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  10. While someone is trying to assassinate a character in my current story, no one actually dies. I guess I'm doing it wrong.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

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  11. I haven't killed off a character in a long time. My drawer manuscripts had a lot of murder in them.

    Ouch. That break looks painful.

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