May 23, 2011

A Writer's Life - The day I decided to get rid of Joe

It had to be. Really. No other way around it. He had to die. Of course his name wasn't really Joe. I'm just protecting his identity here. Let's just say, it's an awfully private aka quiet life Joe is leading now. Or maybe not life. More like afterlife with only a small chance of ever coming back. Then again ...

... I'm the writer. I can kill 'em off. I can get them back. If I want to. If the story allows me to. If it makes the plot even more intriguing. But basically, when I got rid of Joe, I knew what I was doing and it was important for the whole storyline. So who am I to argue with my inner plotter?

It will happen eventually. Maybe not in every book, but I honestly can't think of a genre where character's couldn't drop dead like flies if the author wants them to. Obviously there will have to be a dead body in a mystery novel. As far as historical romances go, not necessarily. I guess in that case it's enough to consider that all the characters are dust by the time you read their story. Technically speaking.

Every writer remembers the first one. The inner turmoil. The emotions flaring. The tears. And above it all the knowledge that there is no other way around it. It's the story that demands it even though you might still be reluctant to admit it. So you do what you have to do.

After all, people die in real life. Why shouldn't they on a piece of paper? The story should feel real. Despite a science fiction setting. It should breath and come to life. Even if a character must die. It won't exactly get any easier or be a totally tearless experience. Not for me, anyway. If you live and breath your own stories, you will laugh and cry with your characters. You bring them to life. And you sometimes you let them die. It's the way of the writer's world.

And Joe died. He knew it'd have to happen and never held it against me. And I cried like a fool. But then it was over. My tears dried. And all was good. For a while.

Needless to say, after the 37th revision Joe's back. Never died. Not the quiet afterlife he thought he'd get, after all. Though, be still my heart, Sally's days are numbered. But of course her name's not really Sally. And we're not talking vampires either, mind you. And once again ... I knew what I was doing and it was important for the whole storyline. So who am I to argue with my inner plotter?

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