Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There could be a death. It might be murrrderrrr.

Following the serial killing train of thought, I ran into a huge problem today. I need to kill someone. No honestly, there's this guy and he's lying there on the concrete bleeding from his head and I just know that my next actions are going to trend toward murder rather than salvation.

Yeah, yeah. Of course I'm talking about a character (since if I were to kill actually kill someone, I probably wouldn't blog about it. Probably.) but it doesn't make it any easier. I finally get past this enormous month long block, typing away on my WIP only to be stopped by something like a character bleeding on the concrete. Now this character I don't just love, but adore on many levels. He's one of my favorites and I'm not even sure his entire story has been told. So when I say that I probably need to identify him as dead or alive in the next paragraph, you'll understand my dilemma. I honestly didn't even want to go there. It wasn't a part of any outline, notes or visions for the work. It was just one of those !@#$ moments where the characters and situation takes over and what I have is a bleeding character who may or may not make it through the paragraph.

I guess you might consider it a curse (or a perk, I know there are some weirdos out there) of writing that you have created these wonderful characters, named them, groomed them, given them feelings and life and then in one moment of crap-the-character-hijacked-the-story-again, you find them dead. Writers are killers. There's no way around it. Death is a part of the circle of life and if characters aren't facing mortality in one form or another (i.e. every other chapter usually with M-16s in my books) they are probably not exploring the full scope of their character arch. So we hurt characters, we kill characters, and we throw them into horrendous situations just to see them get out of it. What kind of monsters are we!!

Ahem . . . okay back to bleeding character #1. Without knowing the story, I need votes on what to do. Kill said, interesting, well-loved, not-quite-completed character . . . or let him live to die another way? I mean day. I mean, honestly he might make it. Who knows. It's the climax. A lot can happen.


  1. Hi Christa,
    I hated it when JK Rowling killed off Dumberdorf, and I still contend it was completely unnecessary. As a writer of YA fiction, I don't often feel the need to end the lives of my young characters; in fact, you might say I'm overprotective. Unless of course, the story dictates it, then someone may have to die. I think the trick is to not over think it. Let the story be your guide and go where the plot leads you.

  2. Ah come on Christauna-----let the poor guy live!
    My opinion mOM

  3. KILL HIM!!! I want blood, baby! (I hope it isn't T, though, that might be sad.) Think of it this way... you can always bring him back to life in the re-write if it doesn't work out in the end!

  4. I ditto Terra. Kill him kill him kill him! (And, okay, if it doesn't quite work you can always hit delete and pretend like it like never happened. I've done that!)

  5. Happy to meet you - came over from the Blog BBQ!

  6. I'm a few days late - is he dead yet? If not, have you considered coma?

    Hehe, just teasing. I'd say it depends on which you'd rather deal with - a physical recovery or a funeral.

    But in the end, your gut will tell you where to go.

  7. Sorry I'm late to this discussion, if it's the climax you could always just let the reader fill in the blanks. Finding out whether a character lives or dies is always a good reason to read a sequel...


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