You are an author working on a novel. You are researching its setting in a rural town. You enter town to interview people, only to find that the town is not what you expected. It is dull, plotting, and unpleasant.

You leave town and head back home. If you had stayed, your story would have been less interesting, filled with staid character. But since you have left, the reader has no reason to care about any of them anymore. They are forgotten. No, worse than that: they never even existed.

The story will be just as good without them in it, you tell yourself. This is how an author should always approach writing novels. Leave out all unnecessary details and focus on the main character’s thoughts, feelings, actions and what he or she thinks at the time.Then write the rest of the book from those points of view. This way, you can concentrate on developing your plot and not worrying about characters who don’t matter to you.

But still, they haunt you. Those characters that never were, less than nothing, cheated out of even an existence on the page because they were too dull for life. It would make you angry, if you weren’t so sad.

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