The Kill

If you’ve been following my blog posts lately, you know that I’ve been having some issues with productivity when it comes to Book III: The Prophecy. And not because I don’t know what to write or where the story should go or even how it should end, but because the time has come to kill off a character I love.

Dearly.

My hemming and hawing might seem funny to you because the characters are just constructs of my imagination, neither real nor based on reality. And yet, to me they are quite the opposite. I’ve been thinking about some of them for years now and although others have only recently popped into my head, they’ve become so vibrant so quickly that it’s as if I’ve always known them. Perhaps this is some weird trait of writers, especially imaginative ones, but it is what it is. My characters are very real and although I understand they need to die to move the story forward, sometimes their deaths are just too painful.

My apologies to the fabulous George RR Martin – I know I greatly disappoint him when I say this death is one of the painful ones.

GeorgeRRMartin

I’ve known about it since I created the character; I planned for the death to occur in Book II until I found a way to avoid it. So I gleefully traipsed through Book II with my character alive and well and they were still kicking it a few chapters in on Book III.

But it cannot be avoided any longer.

Unless, of course, I stop working on Book III, which is exactly what I did for a couple of weeks.

However, I love to write my trilogy more than I love my character, so I was only able to stay away from Book III for so long – that little itch started getting to me early last week and before I knew it, I was back to working on the dreaded chapter. And last night I finally reached my destination.

The kill.

My character crossed into the land of death around one in the morning and I have to say, the way I wrote it made it much easier to handle than expected. Or maybe my contemplation of this scene for so long and in so many ways tempered its actual impact.

Either way, it’s done.

The scene is written; interestingly, I have yet to read what I wrote. Every morning I read my work from the night before and edit it, but today I couldn’t bring myself to indulge this habit. But I will, of course, and soon, if only to make sure what I wrote does justice to the character.

My beautiful, complex, charming character.

I suspect now that I have traversed this hurdle, I will be able to write with abandon.

Until the next death…

 

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9 thoughts on “The Kill

  1. You amaze me. Full-time mom and lawyer, writing NOVELS on the side. Best of luck writing your third book! As for killing off one off a beloved character… yikes! As we say in French, “Bon courage.”

  2. My unasked for two cents? Go back and make the death difficult. If this character is as important to the readers as s/he is to you, you want to make sure the reader feels this death completely. Go for it.

    • Excellent point and advice I will certainly heed. First I want to read the death – perhaps it is brutal and I am simply trying to put on a brave face. But you’re so right: if it’s not, I’m going to make it so. Anything less is not worthy of my character.

  3. Kill the character and do it in style. Make it in a way that we absolutely cannot imagine. But be true to the story line….
    Like Josh Charles on the Good Wife!!!!
    While I form allegiances to characters, my biggest allegiance is to the story!!!
    (And of course, I take back everything I’ve said if it’s a character I love!!- hahaha)

  4. Well, I’ve had to kill characters I love too. The novel I’m writing will have more than one death and that was tough. I don’t know if I may change this or not. We’ll see.

    But I think almost every writer comes to a point where they must let a character go. I’m sure you will execute it rather well! Can’t wait to read everything. 🙂

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