Saturday, July 12, 2008

Grieving Over the Death of a Character

I killed a main character in my book last night.

And when it came time to write the next chapter, I simply couldn’t do it. No matter how hard I tried to get myself back into it, I couldn’t do it.

Because I hadn’t grieved yet.

I had no idea such an act would affect me like it did. I was wrong.

I can get a perspective on this, sort of. I mean, when I’m watching a movie or a television show, and a main character dies (Flower, for one. Warrick, for another.) I’m stunned. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t expect such a thing to happen. But it did, and now I’ve become emotionally involved to the point where I’m sitting in my chair and bawling my eyes out.

I think it’s the "emotionally involved" part that got to me. I’ve almost killed off main characters before. Key word in that case is almost. I’ve led other main characters to believe that certain people are dead. And then had to deal with their mourning. But until now I didn’t kill a character who has been in the book since the beginning. He had to die. It’s a major MAJOR plot point. But I thought that, since I had created this guy, I could kill him without any problems. Sort of like the old adage "I brought you into this world. I can take you out of it."

It doesn’t work that way. At least, it doesn’t for me.

I. Hurt.

I’m grieving, dammit, but there’s no going back. The guy has to stay dead.

Give me a while, will you? Once I’m able to cope again, I’ll get back in my seat and start on my next book.

Until then...


Diana Castilleja said...

I think I understand. When I was writing Shar, I was going to kill off her best friend. She was incidental at the time. Wore a red uniform. LOL

Couldln't do it. Not that she couldn't have died. She had the opportunity, but turns out I needed her after all. But I've had characters do things that would make me bawl like a baby.

The man just ignores me when this happens.

barbara huffert said...

I know what you mean. I had to shoot two characters, both of whom lived, and I cried. I couldn't take killing someone I am so close to even if it's essentail.