Sunday, July 17, 2011

Does Merging Characters = Killing Characters?

I can breathe a sigh of relief now that I just completed my fifth major rewrite of Gorgon-zola! After receiving a few comments about how too many things were happening at the beginning, I wanted to consolidate. One of the biggest things to consolidate were two characters who only had mediocre personalities. They were more than one-sided, however, I just didn't feel like both of them individually added to the story.

So I merged them. Alec and Daniel became Daniel. My husband thinks I should have made a hybrid name since the character is new and improved with character traits with both. What I do know is that the character has never been so well-rounded, and where I initially feared to take one out, I find myself loving the result. It's a bit like the Power Rangers or Captain Planet, combining powers to equal one super powerful character.

This got me thinking to the psychological ramifications of merging characters. There are so many blog posts and questions at conferences about killing characters: if it should be done, if the author sheds a tear, or if the author does it heartlessly for the good of the story. For me, I hate killing my characters. This is my second completed manuscript, and sadly, I've had to end the life of a couple of dear friends.

Did I just do the same thing here? Or can I be happy knowing that they can live on with each other?

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