View Full Version : How to fix a character that can't be cut?

Project nachonaco
12-30-2008, 06:00 AM

She's just.....I don't hate her, but she's definitely the least favorite of my "children".

I've done everything I can with her to make her exciting, and she CANNOT BE EXCISED AT ALL, because she's important to the story, but...I just CAN'T fall in love with her anymore.

How do I fix it?

Karen Duvall
12-30-2008, 06:10 AM
Can you replace her with a "child" you can love? That's probably your only recourse.

12-30-2008, 06:15 AM
You don't have to love her to write about her. I don't love all of my characters. And if she's so important to your story that you can't simply writer her out, there must be *something* interesting about her. Find it, latch on to it, and expand.

Project nachonaco
12-30-2008, 06:15 AM
Can you replace her with a "child" you can love? That's probably your only recourse.

Regrettably not.

I am going to be so glad in the third book whenever she kicks the bucket. :p

12-30-2008, 08:01 AM
Just try and expand her. It'd also be helpful if you listed what is it you hate about her and why she must be in the story.

12-30-2008, 08:05 AM
Get a list of questions and answer them about her. Ask her why she does what she does. Ask her about her past and her experiences, the lessons she's learned and how she learned them. Get to know her. The better you know your characters, the easier it will be to love them, and I am of the opinion that loving them is important.

12-30-2008, 08:45 AM
Push a more interesting or charismatic character to the forefront.

12-30-2008, 09:37 AM
She can't be cut, but can you combine her with someone else?

12-30-2008, 11:29 AM
I feel your pain. My MC's true love (for now) is...well, I feel about the same amount of love towards him as I would towards...a big wad of cardboard. I've said it before, but I can't think of a better way of describing him. My friend is absolutely in love with him, so maybe he doesn't seem to bad to the reader, but I just can't bring myself to care about him. And it's funny because when I don't like a character, I sometimes forget to make my MC sound like she likes him, so she's all apathetic towards him and in the next scene I remember and she's madly in love as she's supposed to be.
He's already more likable so far in the rewrite, though, thank God. I just had to remind myself that I have to make her love him for a reason...at least until the end of book 3 when I get to kill him and introduce the cool new badass love interest - who is certainly not a wad of cardboard!
So, work on reminding yourself why they're important, make sure they serve their purpose, and kill the buggers off as soon as you can! I'm lucky, I only have the one character like that...but he's a pretty major character right now. =(
Good luck!

Mythical Tiger
12-30-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm not to my character that I 'hate' yet. That comes later in the story.:D So far I love Tessa. She's a fun character and I know I'm gonna have fun with her animal. The advice I can give you is just 'love' your favorite character and 'hate' your least favorite character[until you can kill it off]. Keep writing and if your hated character is important than just keep it and go with the flow.

Happy writing and hope this helped!;)

12-30-2008, 12:51 PM
I had that problem with a character. He was completely and utterly annoying, but JUST important enough that I couldn't get rid of him.

Just for spite, I changed him to a female. IMMEDIATELY changed some of the dynamics with the other characters and her impact on the story.

I don't know if that could work for your story, but I figured I'd throw it out there.

12-30-2008, 02:46 PM
I have a complete and utter bastard, a gladiator who uses a 'request' from the Empress to wipe his ass after...the usual. The he takes the parchment and smears it on the chest of the messenger.

I hate this guy, but he's essential to adding to the conflict as a messenger boy --in a nasty way--from a biggier baddie, and I do get my MC to kill him in a satisfying way. *Happy dance*

Why is your disliked characer there? What does she do or say that gives the impetus to her role?

Sometimes these characters are catalysts as in a science experiement. They do not change but they provide change aka drama for the situation, for the MCs, etc.

Like the old 'for want of a nail' ends up when the shoe falls off the horse, the horse goes lame and throws the rider who fails to get to the pivotal battle, losing the war. No one thinks the nail is important or likeable but tracing the events shows it could have happened that way.

Linda Adams
12-30-2008, 03:21 PM
Why don't you like the character? It may be worth thinking about why because that might lead to how to solve the problem.

12-30-2008, 06:18 PM
You don't have to love all of your characters. You don't even have to like all of them. And above all, you don't have to make every one of them "exciting." How many people you know would you consider to be exciting people? Do you know anyone who is kind of boring? dopey? downer? mopey? shy? But they all have one thing in common. They are real people.

Don't work to make your characters exciting. Make them real. And as a good writer, you can do this without having any emotional attachment to them at all. They are just made-up characters, so pass on the "must love them" part and just work hard to make them real in their actions and reactions.

There is nothing wrong with loving one's characters, or with having an emotional attachment to them. It's just not a prerequisite for good character development. Not in any way. So when a lack of that emotional attachment makes writing difficult, it's time to give up the lovey-dovey stuff and just roll up the sleeves and get to writing.

12-30-2008, 07:46 PM
Kill her and make her into a ghost XD

Seriously though, you don't have to love all your characters. Is she a main character? Maybe you could just use her as a catalyst. Like Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (or whatever that book was called, I only saw the Muppets version when I was 7).

12-30-2008, 08:27 PM
Devote a whole chapter to her, as she tries to learn something new that she has always wanted to learn. Sewing or the piano or something. Figure out how her personality would react to the difficulty of picking up a new skill. Then cut that chapter.

12-30-2008, 10:24 PM
Devote a whole chapter to her, as she tries to learn something new that she has always wanted to learn. Sewing or the piano or something. Figure out how her personality would react to the difficulty of picking up a new skill. Then cut that chapter.

Along that vein, you could check out a book called "What Would Your Character Do" in the writing section of most bookstores. It's great fun.