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Kill Your Darlings

Hello All,
It has been too long since my last post.  Now, that school is out and the children are settled in, I actually have some time to myself.  Not as much as I would like, but enough to get some writing in.  Since I'm on the subject, I had a huge awakening at my writer's group last month. 

As many of you know, I have polished the first chapter of my novel until it shines. It stands to reason that all of the group members liked the pacing and thought it gripped them enough to read on.  As I sat there basking in my elation, they dropped the bomb about  the raw draft of chapter two.  Many of the members did not form an attachment to my M.C.  They said she seemed bitter and  lacked emotion. I thought, okay, I can work on this, tweek her here and there and voila! I will have a more loveable character.

However, the critique did not end with my M.C.  Group members went on to comment about a second character in the chapter.  A lawyer with the personality of a used car salesman named Preston drops by Soledad's (my M.C) home with a mysterious package.  Her recently deceased father had instructed the lawyer to deliver it two months after his death.  Preston does not show up anywhere else in the novel.  He is merely a conduit to get the package to Soledad as well as a mechanism to build tension.

A couple of the members of my writer's group suggested I get rid of him if he doesn't have a role in the rest of the book. In fact, one person reminded me of Faulkner's advice to "Kill your darlings."  This means authors may find areas or characters which they are attached to and consequently, are unable to judge them.  The underlying question I have is when should this theory apply?  I really like the lawyer and spent a lot of time developing him.  Although there are other ways to get the package to Soledad, I think Preston adds a bit of humor to the scene.   Do you agree that a character should not be introduced unless he/she will be included somewhere else in the novel?   Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.  In other words, please, let me know what you think.  Until next time, happy writing.

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I've posted my novel PAWN OF THE GODS on Kindle Scout, a publishing program ran by Amazon. It allows unpublished authors to post their work for thirty days. During that time, readers log on, read the excerpt (or not) and if they like what they see, they nominate the author for publication. At the end of the campaign, the nominations are tallied and the board votes on which books to publish. 

PAWN OF THE GODS has been up for a little over a week.  It was on the Hot and Trending list for nineteen hours, and more than one thousand seven-hundred visitors have viewed my excerpt.  All good stuff right? If that's true, why the hell am I so insecure? I suppose it's because I'm putting myself out there. It's tough to do, especially with such stiff competition. 

This said, if any of you are interested, I posted my link below.  If …

Andrea Franco-Cook's New Release PAWN OF THE GODS

Hello all,
I just wanted to announce the launch of my debut novel PAWN OF THE GODS. It's published for free on Amazon Kindle until May 22.  After that, it will go on sale for $3.99. PAWN OF THE GODS




Book Summary
According to Mayan prophecy the gods of the underworld will declare war on man. Their undoing however, lies hidden deep in the Yucatan in 1572, when a winged entrusted a celestial weapon to a Spanish Conquistador for safe keeping.
Five hundred years later, the winged god reveals himself to Soledad Mendoza, detailing how she is tied to the conquistador, and the impending war. But the young English professor is unsure of herself. Out of shape and a lonely widow at thirty, her predilection for scotch makes her more suited to join a twelve-step program, than become a hero.
Unfortunately, Soledad is forced into action when she learns her family friend, Senator Earl Edmondson has ties to the conquistador and the weapon, ties that could either harm or help her.
A pawn caught in a dan…