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BLOG: Writers of the Lost Arc

My Main Character Was Too Gorgeous

March 7, 2013

Tags: Creating characters, novel, revision, agent, Temple Mount, Jewish characters

My agent strongly suggested I scrap one of the main three characters in the novel I'd been working one for years, "In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist." She just didn't feel connected to her story, her plight.

I resisted her. Who wouldn't? I'd invested years in this Jewish female character, a transplant to Israel. How could I let her go just like that?

Then one day I thought: Anna’s right. I hadn't captured Tamar with the same urgency and intimacy as I had captured my other characters -- Mustafa, a misshapen and gaunt janitor on the Temple Mount, and Isaac, an uptight assistant to a kabbalist. Somehow, I had failed her as a writer. She hadn't come to 3 D life, and probably never would. Why? It struck me then. Tamar was too beautiful. Pity has always been the portal through which I enter my characters. In the back of my prejudiced mind, I couldn't take her pain too seriously, because gorgeous women didn't suffer, not really.
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