April Theme: When I Just Don't Care

So I was going back and forth between writing unlikable characters and writing characters that I don't care about, and decided that the whole unlikeable character thing would require the sort of extensive self-psychoanalysis that would only be interesting to me, and then wouldn't even hold me for very long, which brings me to...

When I just don't care.
The signs?

*I've written a character that is all caricature, no complexity. 
*My character has catchphrases, signature gestures, and nothing else. They're "the _____one."
*My character only exists to demonstrate some clever language, trick, or idea of mine that I think readers MUST see, because they must know how clever I am.
*They are boring, boring, boring.

Once in a while, I do write a shallow character on purpose, as a device that moves the story forward, or illuminates an idea or theme. (Or I try. Or just so I can say "I meant to do that.") But for the most part, even if they don't have a lot of time "on stage", or are only briefly mentioned in passing, I have to do my best to make sure they really mean something to the story, to me, and to the reader, or it hurts. And it's boring, or irritating, or both.

And that would be the worst!


  1. Down with boring! Thanks for this clever, honest, not at all irritating post. :) Anxiously awaiting your next book...

  2. Yes. It's amazing how little space there really is in a novel. Every single word, event, character, has to be there for a reason.


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