Sunday, April 10, 2011

You have been warned...

  Red hearts and skulls  As the title suggests, I’m warning you ahead of time that this ain't gonna be the normal kind of blog because it's heavy on the internal side of a writer's mind. That’s not always the most "normal" place to hang out, if you’re wondering. We creative folk tend to have conversations with our fictional characters and spend a lot of time daydreaming on a regular basis.
    A couple of weeks ago my story really started to twist me into a knot. My characters began telling me things I totally did not want to hear and generally irritating the crap out of me night and day. I started doing more housework to avoid the problem, which pleased The Hubs but did nothing for my progress. The Red Ninja suggested that I shoot a character just to remind them all who the dang boss is around this manuscript. In reality, that’s exactly the problem. 
    To kill or not to kill a character, that dear friend has been the question. For my writer buds, I know you understand this line of nuttiness. For everyone else, just hang with me and I’ll explain. By the way, I can hear you over there calling me a certified fruit loop under your breath smarty-pants. 
    Sometimes characters must die. It’s a sad part of writing, unless they happen to be evil, but also quite necessary. I’ve knocked off characters in the two previous books of this series and each time it was awful. Necessary, but that didn’t lessen the emotional part of it. In the case of this third manuscript, I walled myself up and couldn't continue because I wouldn't face the fact that the character was telling me it was possibly time for him/her to go.
    To help you understand, I’ll give you an example of one of the many conversations we had.

ME: No, I won’t do it, you can’t make me!  
C: (huffs) Would you trust me on this, it’s time for me to go.
ME: Hey, I’m the writer here, not you. *turns off computer and stomps off in a snit* Maybe after I do some laundry and bore you into submission you’ll believe me. Otherwise, I’ll just shoot you but won’t finish what happens and you’ll just bleed forever. We’ll see how much you like them apples.     

C: Not the damn laundry again, there are only four humans in this house how much laundry can they generate? *Stares at piles*  Are strangers coming to your house to change their clothes or something?  

ME: Don’t you start too.

C: Come on you know that won’t work. You’re just avoiding what needs to be done. If you don’t face this the book won’t ever be finished.

ME: Oh yes I WILL finish this book. Stop being such a Debbie downer already. You know killing characters depresses me and makes me cry which makes me mad! Its spring and my sinuses…

C: *rudely interrupts my whining* Stop it already! These excuses aren’t putting words on the page.

ME:  Don’t you throw author-isms at me Mister/Miss. It’s just…I don’t want to lose you…and…what if the story falls apart without you? Ever riddle on that smart-aleck?

C: Fictional character here, remember.

ME: Oh so now you don’t know anything. Gah! *Slams dryer*

C: What I know is you’ve been avoiding the issue for weeks now. Just write it and see how it sounds or...ask the Green Ninja...see what she thinks. If you don’t like it there’s always the delete button.

ME: Ah ha! I think you're crushing on her! Besides, she’s busy writing her people who I bet are cooperating. NONE of this is something I can work with by the way and what if she agrees with you?

C: Chicken *sidestepping my accusation*

ME: There’s no reason to start name-calling.

C: Truth hurts sometimes.

ME: You’re just mean, that’s what you are. I love you and don’t want to lose you.

C: *exhales loudly* I’m sorry I called you a chicken, that wasn’t nice.

ME: It’s alright, I know you meant well.

C: You know I still gotta die right.

ME: Oh shut up.
    This photo sits right in front of my computer so I can keep asking myself this question over and over while trying to hash this out. The question is "if you kill him, what's the redemption?" Now that's not correct grammer but I understand it.
    I finally bit the bullet last week and sent the text, crossing my fingers that I wasn’t interrupting a visit to south Mississippi by the muse. *Bows* That Green Ninja, she is as wise and feisty as ever. Thanks for that one thing that has pointed me in the right direction.  Hopefully the rest of you have a better picture of the things we writers deal with.  As my Aunt the RN would say, “Katie honey, they make pills everyday for that kind of crazy.”
Till then,

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