Monday, April 1, 2013

One Down; Two to Go or My Editor Was Right

Last week I told you a fish tale.

Today, to my sorrow, I must report that Cody has gone on to better waters (er, the trash can.)

However, here's the thing.  Now, I only have to change the water one a week instead of every three days.  It's not getting dirty as quickly.

And, the two remaining fish are easier to see.  Isn't that strange.  Cody was such a nice guy!

It's makes me think of something my editor (and, yes, my critique group) tells me. 

"Pam, you've got too many characters.  Do you really need this one?"

Last month I bought a book, and by chapter three, I was lost.  There were sooooo many names.  I kept flipping back, skimming, and going, "Oh, yeah."

That book is on table by a living room chair, flipped open, page ready for me to pick up and start reading again.

I've read four books while this one book is waiting for my return.

Er, I'll have to start over. 

I'll never remember who I'm reading about.

Memo To Self:  Reduce characters!

14 comments:

  1. Condolences for Cody. If there are a lot of characters it's nice when the author puts a list of them in the front of the book and a chart saying how they fit in with everyone else. Or a family tree if it's generational. I used to see a lot more of those than there are in books now.
    I hope everyone had a good Easter.

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    1. Roz, we were in Tucson at the Merriot by Starr Pass for Easter. I wanted to call but I was doing Drama and Puppet shows for youth and had no free minutes. I always want to see you.

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  2. Pam. I'm sorry. Is Michael okay with the reduced characters?

    You're not reading one of my books, are you? I always do that - create a lot of secondary characters because they're so much fun! And 75,000 words requires a lot going on - more than hero and heroine can manage alone. But I understand - we don't want to create Russian novels, just good, exciting, meaningful romance. It sounds as though it should be easier than it is!

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    1. Muriel,
      Mike cried; I soothed.

      No, what made this one tough is it was about sixth in a series and I hadn't read the first five. It was supposed to be stand alone.

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  3. Thanks for that reminder, Pam! In my young adult series Joanne and I have counselors and cabins full of campers. I wish I'd thought of adding a page where I listed the characters by cabin! Roz always such great solutions! My condolences for your Cody!

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    1. I think listing them by cabin is a good idea. With my second grader, his books often have drawings that list names scattered throughout the book.

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  4. My condolences for poor Cody. I'm one of those with casts of 1000s, and I've never figured out a painless way to remove any of them. I remember reading what I think was a Harlequin American years ago, no idea who wrote it, and it had three speaking characters from start to finish. And a bunch of sheep (or cattle--I can't recall). It was a good book, but I've never made it out of Chapter One with only three characters!

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  5. I confess, with only a week and few days of interaction (mostly me cleaning the fishbowl), I'd not formed an attachment yet.

    I love, love, love characters. I need to be reined in and often.

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  6. How sad:( A loss is a loss, no matter how small-this is my hesitancy with buying my son his own pet. We have two VERY old cats in our home and I don't know how I'll explain it when the time comes...
    Anyway...Characters-I know what you mean:) I'm currently writing book two in a series and already I'm losing track of who's who lol. I'm planning to map out my town and the characters on a white board this weekend. Also, I heard there is a computer program that helps organize a series, I'll have to check it out. Love lots of characters:)

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    1. Oh, Jennifer,
      I took Mike with me when he was four to put down my 22+ (I had Prissy 22 years, but she was a rescue and grown when I got her) year old cat. I lost her husband Aquila the year before (He's the cat of my heart. There will never be another Aquila.)
      Some day I'll post how I keep track. I have WriteWay, which I intend to use someday LOL

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  7. Poor Cody; poor Mike.

    Isn't it fun when something your crit group or editor has been saying finally clicks when you noticed the problem in someone else's story? LOL. I'm guilty of doing that too.

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    1. We need to talk about fun.... LOL
      I don't know what I'd do without my crit group. They're awesome.

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  8. Hi Pamela, You are soooo funny. Poor Cody, my condolences, but his passing does make a good point. However, I'm like you and love to write all the characters. And I really like the characters you write. So maybe it helps to eliminate one or two so your others really stand out. I'll hae to go ponder.

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  9. Sandra,
    Thanks so much for stopping by. I've been pondering this for years.

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