Sooner Or Later, Someone’s Gonna Die

I have a confession; I’ve never killed anyone.  Granted, I haven’t been at it very long, but still- well, I’m starting to get a little bit nervous about the first time that I’ll have to.  I hope it gets easier after the first victim goes down.  I’ve been assured that it does.

Killing a character is a part of writing that I never even considered until now.  I’ve read plenty of death scenes and seen many of them adapted to stage and screen.  Now that I’m crawling into my first few stories I’m convinced that someone’s going to pay with their life.

I’m sure I’ll need to make this a character of substance, even though what I’ll really want to do is make them weak, or some jerk, so I don’t feel too badly when they’re dead by my pen.  If I assuage my own guilt by wimping out I’m sure it will bore the reader, a murderous idea in it’s own right.  I won’t mind if you stop reading my story because it’s just not your style, but I cringe at the thought of you tossing your kindle across the room in disgust because I don’t know the proper way to grease some jackass.  I’ll want you to be right there with me, plunging the knife in, watching the light fade from his eyes.  Or her eyes.

Or maybe it will be an adored character, like May’s suicide in The Secret Life Of Bees.  I’d like to think that I might drive you to that same kind of despair some day dear reader.  After I read that part of the book I moped around for two days in the real world.  That’s powerful murder!   Thanks ever so much for making me feel like shit Sue Monk Kidd!

Even though it will be a fictional death I suppose I’ll struggle with it from a moral sense.  Maybe I’ll get used to it.  I’m sure as long as it creates a seamless plot movement I’ll be ok with it.  Hell, I may even create an exercise for myself, a short plot line where plenty of folks will have to buy the farm – you know, just to sharpen my claws.  Oooh, yeah, mountain lion attack!  Or shark?  Nah, too overdone.  Falling out of bed, clutching my chest, reaching for the cell phone only to find out – doh! – I forgot to charge it!  And… scene.

Confession:  I’m dreading my first love scene too.  I’ll probably fall out of bed for that one too.  ~TH~

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