“Placeholder” Characters

So here I am, finished with yet another draft of my Contemporary Young Adult WIP (work in progress). It feels pretty good. I know I have a few layers of revisions left to do, but I’m getting there. Most of the things I need to revise are story structure things, like where exactly is the climax of this book, and am I totally screwed if I don’t know where it is?

But then, one of my critiquers on scribophile.com  (a fabulous peer critique group for writers, check it out!) asked if one of my characters was a placeholder or whether she was supposed to be a real person.

Agh. So that was yucky. You know why? ‘Cause she was right.

As I looked at the character of the main character’s roommate (are you following me here?), it’s true, she’s just a placeholder. She moves the plot along once or twice. Otherwise she’s totally one-dimensional.

Apparently if she’s important enough to be in the story, she’s important enough to have a personality.

Crap. You know what that means?

More revisions.


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