Horrible day. I was sitting at a computer going over beta reader notes and comments, planning out an actual outline, when a character popped into my head – Kasey Wilks. She’s the friends of my MC Alaine Turner, is a minor character in the story, and the question “Does she really contribute anything to the story?” kept swirling around in my head. And the answer, was sadly . . . no. I hate cutting characters out. It feels like I’m firing them and I just feel so terrible about it. Switching to the office in my head . . .
Me: Hi, Kasey. Please have a seat.
Kasey: *takes a seat and crosses legs* Hi, Hope. How are you?
Me: Oh, I’m good. How are you?
Kasey: Well, to be honest, I feel like I just haven’t been involved in your world lately. I mean, I’m introduced at the beginning, but then I have nothing to do until near the end. And that’s it.
Me: Yeaaaaah . . . Listen, Kasey. *cringes* There’s no easy way for me to say this, but I’ve decided to go in a different direction.
Kasey: How different?
Me: Your involvement in my world is *hesitates* no longer needed.
Kasey: Wait. Are you taking me out?
Me: *folds hands over desk* Yes. I’m afraid I have to let you go.
Kasey: But . . . but I thought I was contributing. I thought . . . *eyes grow watery*
Me: *tries to keep a serious face* I know. And you were . . . for a while. But things are different now. I’m sorry.
Kasey: *softly cries* Please. Please don’t take me out. I’ll try harder! I’ll stop disappearing for three fourths of the story! Please! You can’t take me out.
Me: I’m sorry, Kasey. But you have to go.
Kasey: *cries harder*
Me: *Gets out of chair and goes over to give her a hug* Thank you for all your work. I will never forget you.
She slowly fades from existence. Only I will remember her – all others will forget she ever existed.
Why is this so hard? Have you ever had to cut a character? If yes, was it this painful?