Thursday, July 18, 2013

Goodbye My Dear Character

This morning I woke with the intention that I have every morning. To write. But, as I poured myself some coffee and tried to wake up a bit, I noticed myself easily getting distracted by things that really weren't that interesting. “Oh, the person outside is sneezing too loud. I should go look out my window and watch them for a bit.” or “Last nights dishes in my sink look rather disgusting. I should definitely clean them” or my favorite “Look at the pink nose on my cat! I'm gonna poke it”. Things like that took precedent over writing all morning long until about eleven o'clock rolled around and I realized that this was ridiculous.

I then proceeded to agonize over whether I should just write the next scene in my book or if maybe I should go back to the start and reread what I've already written to get my head around the story. I've started and stopped this novel so many times (which is unusual for me) that I am worried I'm being a bit schizophrenic in my writing. So, the logical way to fix that is to go back and read the 100 + pages that I have written and see if what I have there is acceptable. I even proceeded to start to do that before the lure of a shower called out to me instead.

Finally, after my shower, and realizing it was close to one in the afternoon now, I told myself that I was being pathetic. This is only day two of my goal to write two to three pages of my story every day and I was already about to give up. I had just wasted a good four hours of my morning, on my day off, doing god only knows what because sitting and writing just didn't seem like a task I was up to.

I forced myself, I am proud to say, to sit and write my two pages today. Actually, I only wrote about a page and a half but I still feel accomplished with it. I also now know why my mind was rebelling over not wanting to write.

It was trying to protect me.

The scene I had planned next was a death scene. I had decided a few days ago that this character was going to die. It needed to be done to show the readers that safety is becoming scarce in this story and the main characters need to act or else its going to be too late for them. I knew when I woke up this morning that this was the scene I would have to write. What I didn't know was that I would have such a visceral reaction over it.

One day, when this is published, I will share this blog post again and tell you what character it is that I am talking about, but for now, the character will remain nameless.

I wasn't even two sentences into the scene when all of the sudden, I was clutching my stomach and crying hard enough to shake. I didn't even see it coming. There was no warning for these tears. My body just reacted. I wrote the scene in question with watery eyes and a strong urge to delete everything I was typing out. I want it on record, I as the writer, was not okay with this death. But, I also understand that it is what was needed for the story. In battle, people don't come out completely unscathed. Tough decisions also are not made if the situation around you isn't dire.

The Moors I imagine I'm looking over 
I barely made it through writing what I did and when I was finished, I sat and sobbed. We're not talking silent and pretty tears. Maybe one day I will make up a tale of my hair blowing in the wind as I looked over the moors of an English countryside, grieving for this lost character, but today I will be truthful. We're talking full out, hold yourself tightly because you're afraid you are going to fly apart, kind of sobbing. It hurt.

Afterward, while still weeping, I fixed myself a cup of coffee and sat there for a minute, forcing myself to ask the question of whether or not this scene is necessary. Did it truly need to happen? Yes.

Why did it need to happen?

I can't really answer that. It's just one of those things that I know is right for the story and while the larger part of me wants to take that scene, tear it apart, and fix the situation, hell, even kill off a character that doesn't mean as much, I can't. It's an interesting line to walk, really. The writer and the reader in me is rebelling violently against this but my characters aren't allowing this to change.

So what does everyone think? Are there deaths in stories or TV shows that you have rebelled against so much that you feel like you are grieving them? Leave your comment below or on my facebook page and let me know what you think.
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