Revision Is Hell Part II: Avril is Gone

Dear Avril:

I’m very sorry but as of today you will no longer be in the book. Believe me, it’s nothing you did or failed to do. You were everything I’d imagined in your part, and even more. You were mercenary, sharp-edged and uncaring, but that was perfect. I couldn’t have found a better defrocked doctor than you.

This is a storyline dictated decision. Yes, I know we hear that all the time and we tend to have some skepticism, but in your case it’s true. Changes I made upstream to clarify the plot rendered your six-page scene less meaningful. Then I realized that the female lead had to show off some of her skills and knowledge, and, well, she can’t very well do that when you’re standing in her space. And I know you really wanted the necklace, but it’s just not going to happen.

To be fair, you should have had a clue when an earlier rewrite reduced your role from nine pages to six. Put yourself in my place and ask yourself; this is the last third of the book. The chase is supposed to be heating up. Do they really have time to have a long conversation with you? Ask yourself; is there anything you do that Sara can’t do herself, especially if the immuno-booster you gave her in a previous draft is now gone? Ask yourself, does their involvement with you add to the danger down the road in any way?

Sadly, the answer to each of those questions is “no.”

You have many fans in the book, notably Gavin, but frankly he’s just a minor character, and this decision has to be mine.

I know you will have a great career somewhere in some story, perhaps even one of mine. Good luck, and have a good day. We’ll miss you (well, Sara won’t, but the rest of us will) and we wish you all the best.



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