On this, another Free Week here at 4F,1H, I would like to take advantage of other writers’ time and ‘think out-loud’, ( as it were), about characters.
A former Fox posted an invitation from a friend of hers for a short, easy challenge a few years ago. I had not given any real thought to writing a novel, let alone a romance novel, but I went for it. I had just been incredibly inspired by another former Fox’s posting of a photo she had taken, a photo that flooded my mind with a story.
Truth be told, I really needed the challenge to get me started and although I have gone back to the novel several times, I have let family and other projects get in the way. Now, I wonder if putting it off has not really been for the best.
The story has real life. Indeed, I ‘pants’ my way along every time I sit at the computer with it, since the story flows, characters do things I had not foreseen and I find that I have subconsciously, ( or serendipitously), put some scenes or actions in motion in previous pages.
I never cease to be amazed at this.
Truman Capote once countered criticism by saying,“You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say”. I thought that was crazy…until I started writing fiction in earnest.
A problem, though, had been with a subplot that involved four minor characters. They had just been fellow vacationers along on a short sailing trip, but suddenly a story came up for them. As much as I came to know them, as much as I could see happening with them, I could not seem to fit it to flow with the story. I decided to cut them altogether, perhaps save them for another time…and I wrote on, changing them back to ‘atmosphere’.
I have not touched the novel for most of the year, but the other morning I woke up thinking of the four-character subplot, and picturing them with the main characters.
Now, I’m in a quandary.
Do I try that subplot again?
I know that no one can answer this with so little info, or seeing how the story unfolds. I tried to kill those darlings, but they won’t die.
I don’t want this to stop me from finalizing the story. I already have several subplots that converge within the context of the characters’ lives.
The questions beg:
Would this other subplot make the story better?
Would it be too daunting to work them back into the story?
They don’t have enough substance for a story of their own, at least, not a novel-length one.
I guess it depends on how well I can work out their story and how it would directly affect my main characters, or how my main characters can affect their story.
As I think about it,
I think I should let sleeping darlings lie.
Thanks for your time and indulgence.