All authors have said it at least once: killing a character is never fun. We love them, even the bad ones. We cherish them and work hard to breathe life into them. We learn their merits and their flaws, craft their physics and their mind, and push them to their limits for the sake of the story.
Characters become a part of a writer’s life. We get to know them so much that our alarms go off when we are about to write something illogical for them. Authors say that they speak to their characters and, more often than not, it’s kind of true. It’s a way for our subconscious to guide us through the story.
Ending a character’s life hurts deeply.
A few weeks ago, I killed a hunk. It hurt. I felt uneasy about it for quite sometime. It was so useful and convenient to kill him. It moved the plot forward. I created him so he could be the sacrificial lamb. I didn’t want him dead but he had to be; it was his purpose.
After a little mourning a lot of arguing with myself, I finally decided to move on though something wasn’t feeling quite right. And it pained me. And I obsessed over it. Such are the writer’s woes.
Guess what I found out yesterday?
The sleazy bastard had been lying to me! How dared he hide this huge piece of information from me? I could have accepted that he had three wifes and was a drug dealer even though I thought he was perfect. How much impact could that have on my feelings?
I mean, it was somehow in there, carefully hidden behind his acts, but I never even suspected what motivated him. It opens up a whole plotline that I’ll have to weave into the rest of the book. Thanks a lot, hunky jackass!
You know what? I’m glad I killed him!
He deserves nothing more than dirt, maggots and funky rotting smells. I mean it! I was so surprised and upset, and happy, and pissed! Talk about an emotional rollercoaster. Characters shouldn’t do that to their writers.
The worst thing is that killing him turns him into an effing Greek tragedy hero. In other words, He. Wins. Anyway!
I think I’ll rewrite his death scene just to bask in his terror. Better yet, since I’m writing Urban Fantasy, I think I’ll resuscitate him so he can taste happiness before I yank it all away again. That ought to teach him!
The lesson behind my elucubration is twofold.
Firstly, my novel is going to be way better than I thought. *shrugs*
Secondly, writing is a high risk occupation and should not be attempted at home by people with heart or blood pressure problems.
(“So what the heck am I doing here?” the ones privy to my health’s ebbs and flows might ask. And to that, my friend Sabrina would say that in my case, writing is therapeutic: it’s when I don’t write that my heart starts going crazy.)
PS: For those of you readers of the 2010 story who worry about Casey; he is indeed a hunk but he ain’t dead… yet… not that I’ll kill him… Are you doubting yet? *evil grin*