Today’s ‘real talk’ involves looking at one of the main reasons why writers lose their way in books – and that’s by being overly attached to their ‘darlings’ – darlings who may or may not really deserve to be in their novel.
Anyone who’s written a long project knows how easy it is to go off on tangents, or indulge your love for a character who really belongs in another book. It’s also easy to base a character too much on ourselves and then not be able to craft them properly due to being unwilling to let go of aspects of our own personalities on the page.
I’ve already shared some of this characterisation advice in my ‘cheat sheet’ on how to self-edit and make your work shine, but today’s post is all about how you can make sure that your characters are really earning their place in your plot. I also talk about how, even as your self is inevitably part of your book (and what makes your work unique and powerful), you must also make sure that your personal experiences don’t overwhelm your players and drown them out.