Well, I did something sort of awful today. It was for the best, and I’m sure future readers will thank me, but it still sort of sucked.
I didn’t kill off a character, exactly, but I might as well have because I took away her voice…downgraded her to nothing more than a mention…completely removed her POV chapter.
Normally I am a happy, remorseless editor. It actually makes me feel better because it happened for a reason, and that reason is usually cleaner, tighter prose and story.
Except…this was Adrienne!
If you’re not one of the 30ish people who have read St. Charles at Dusk, that was probably overwhelmingly anticlimactic for you. Even if you did read it, you’re probably still saying, “so what?”
The “so what” is this: Adrienne was a voice that was always hard for me to find. She is a dear character, but she is also not always the most likable character. I knew this when I started writing her and I was not surprised when throughout the novel this didn’t change very much. But I loved her as only a mother could, and I always felt bad that I couldn’t bring myself to completely redeem her. And so when I started writing the next book in the series, The Storm and the Darkness, I felt like the least I could do was give her something to do. After all, the book centers around her cousin Ana, and her husband Oz and brother Nicolas both play important roles in the tale. It would have been so easy to fit her in, too.
But in the end, her piece was extraneous. It was not a means to and end, but simply a friendly drive-by cameo that added nothing to the story except a small soothing of my conscience. It’s not doing her any favors, and certainly not doing me any. So, her chapter had to go.
Je suis désolée, ma cher! Maybe next time…