Tag Archives: Make the connection

Disruptive Characters

Having just chopped ten thousand words out of the manuscript of my latest book I sit here wondering how many other authors have been through similar experiences.
To say that the character I removed from the plot was disruptive is in a way disingenuous, as the lady concerned was beautiful, intelligent and sincere in her affections. Considering that my hero has been through three unpleasant adventures, without the joys of feminine companionship and affection, I felt it about time I balanced the books as it were. The idea started off well in that I chose to re-introduce a character from a previous novel, who Vaughan had shared some of his dangerous moments with. One would think that such a character who understands the life he

A pause for thought

A pause for thought

lives would be an ideal companion, but that turned out to be totally wrong.
In chapter seven I found myself struggling to justify their coexistence and finally realised that her remaining in the book was slowing things down and seriously disrupting my plot.
To make sure that I was making the right decision, I went back to the very beginning, and started to read my manuscript through very carefully. In analysing her role I discovered that she not only failed to fulfilling her function, as drama relief for my hero, but equally important failed in furthering the plot itself; both functions that I felt I had achieved well with Amelia de Lima in ‘Shadows in Sunshine’.
What I found was a romance almost separate from the main story, detracting from a drama and acting like sea anchor slowing the whole thing down. Sadly she had to go, and Ian Vaughan continue his lonely existence, possibly. Like all disruptions, their disappearance leaves a void, a vacuum that must be filled, and that is now my task, thankful that I discovered my error before the vacuum became too large to fill.


An important part of an author’s life nowadays is making contact with his or her readership, or indeed readers in general. Strangely enough these events are not a promotional exercise but more a development of a relationship. I have found, during my relatively short writing career, that people are anxious to know how you conceived and developed your characters, and to try and gauge how much of the real you goes into your writing. What life experiences has an author brought to their work? Rarely do book signings present this opportunity, but author talks do and libraries are great places to meet serious readers.

For the author it is also a chance to learn how well received their characters are. Do your readers fear your villains, have they grown fond of your heroes, but most importantly of all Richard V Frankland - Authorhave they gleaned a clear picture in their minds of your characters. For me it is also important to know that my readers believe my plot lines. I try hard to create a plot that is exciting and suspense-filled. I put in a shock or two, but all the time I endeavour to achieve realism.

To readers of all genre I recommend that you keep an eye out for the event posters at your local library, or the author’s own website events page. Whether it is a travel writer, historian or a novelist like myself you may find the meeting with them a pleasant and informative experience. So come along, your authors, especially this one, look forward to meeting you.