Have you ever wondered when is the perfect time to kill off one of your characters?
I had a plan to do it. I had an outline written. I had my second novel figured out until the very end. I had myself prepared, the actions of my characters prepared, a lovely fictional ceremony prepared, how everyone would feel, what they would say to each other...
Then something crazy happened.
I saw the perfect opportunity to add more depth to story, to twist the characters lives into another direction, to add more drama to their lives. Because we all know, the drama is what keeps readers interested, it keeps them reading.
And I killed off a different character. A character that I loved.
Now, being an introvert with a highly sensitive personality I should have prepared myself better for this. I should have known what it would do to me. Especially since I've struggled with the death of fictional characters before, for example: when I finished reading The Hunger Games Trilogy, it sent me into a book hangover for about a week. Okay, let's not lie... it was really about a month.
I couldn't cope with what had happened to all those characters who I had grown to love, and how their lives were forever changed.
It's true. I've had this problem with television shows too:
So, after 3 rum and cokes, I moped around my house last night, mumbling to my husband that I killed a person, I killed them dead (FYI: I would never actually kill a person in real life. I do have morals).
I think he laughed at me, maybe said something about getting over it. (It was a character he never liked in the first place). But I couldn't. I kept reading that scene over and over, thinking about how it would affect the other characters lives, how they would react, how readers might react.
I tend to do this with books that I become absolutely absorbed in:
Then something amazing happened...
I was propelled into an inspirational brainstorming session. I could barely write down ideas fast enough. Just when I was thinking I might have to stop this series at the second book!
So, what have I learned from this experience?
Death makes people think. It causes us to re-evaluate, change our life path, reconsider our goals, hope for a better future.
Death is easy on no one, but like fear, death is an inspiration.
Or, maybe it was the rum...