The Death of a Character: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

tombstone

I was asked a question earlier by someone I find both wise, endearing, and completely talented in all that she does.  Her question has been bouncing around in my mind and I realize that my answer to her was very swift and two dimensional so maybe I should expand a little on the subject.  The question happened after I was very pleased with writing a prominent character’s death.

I took it as someone who writes herself wanted to know if we had similar feelings.  She asked, “Do you mourn them? If you don’t, do you feel badly for not mourning them?”  

I responded simply with, “I’ve been juggling with this death, going back and forth whether I should or not and ultimately for the final book sets things to 11.  I do some more than others depending how attached I am. This one, yes. The great thing, though, is I don’t write in order so I will get to enjoy them for a while longer.” and “Some I am glad for their demise, though, and celebrate.”

If you happened to have read Rise of a Queen or Of Darkness and Light (heck, maybe even both) you realize something pretty quick.  I kill characters off quite a bit.  Not in a George R.R. Martin or even Steven Moffat way; the emotional trauma I might cause myself would be asylum worthy if I were to venture down that path.  Nonetheless, I do tend to find a great death scene to write.  Something I have said since the beginning and can shout from the rooftops…..EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  No matter how lighthearted or gut-wrenchingly dark things get, there is a purpose for everything that I write and it may not even be clear until you reach the final book; I write for the long haul.  For some characters I realize that they are meant to have their demise as part of something highly entertaining or a need for vengeance that even the reader is screaming for.

Since we live in the land of spoiler alerts, I guess I should say if you have not read the first book SPOILER AHEAD….

Greco’s death serves the biggest purpose of the entire series.  I know people have told me they’re either team Greco or Team Isaac which I have to always answer, “Why not be Team Tessa?”  Both are what makes her who she is.  Greco’s death sets the stage for everything she becomes as the Queen of the Levé’s, the main reason I labeled the first book of the series Rise of a Queen.

END OF SPOILER

Through all this, I still have to say I haven’t really answered the true question beyond the basics.  YES, YES, YES, I mourn my character’s deaths….the ones that I have cultivated and molded for years until their very last breath.  The necessity sometimes breaks my heart and for some people, they want to deny that death understandably.  I have been working on this series since the early 2000’s when I wrote a small bit, set it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a dear friend prodded me with such tenacity it had awaken something inside of me.  With guidance and suggestions Tessa became who she was and The Vampire Realm became so real I could close my eyes and see everything inside of it.  It has consumed me ever since and as I am working on this final book of the series I believe I will mourn The Vampire Realm itself, but at the same time feel pleased and accomplished for giving my baby the life and excitement it contained.

To all the villains that I happen to not mourn…….all I can say is I have raised many a wine glass in your demise and take solace in the fact that I can feel better by simply going back and turning to those pinnacle pages at any time I feel the need.

 

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NaNo…..NoNo

I admit it.  I did nothing to participate in this November writer extravaganza and feel that glow of accomplishment among my peers who succeeded in their month long goal of 50k words.  By all means I am on no way knocking it, seriously.  One big reason? Stress of coming up with something while simultaneously working the rest of book 2 out would probably turn me into either a raging lush or a homicidal maniac.  Maybe if lucky the combination of the two would make it entertaining.  So I have passed.  I do want to congratulate those who have or are very close to completing because you have worked your tail off to get there and its the final countdown *cue the music* and I can’t wait to see the pride from all who tried.
Me?  I will attempt to let this year pass me by and maybe jump in another year.

For Love of Beta Readers

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Since we all know new ventures on the rise and book two is getting closer to completion (hold on, we know editing is next, that’s the pain in the butt to add extra pain me thinks) I want to thank my Beta readers.  I love them dearly with all my heart and am glad I have people looking out for me.  As the information keeps piling in I get to gather and work on those when I am at a blocked moment from writing.  That and its easier to make changes and watch a movie at the same time.  Score 1 for the hermit!!!!

With the world of traditional publishing, I have heard quite a lot.  As a person is presented an editor, you get the same process.  I’m still trying to figure out the big differences, but top notch editors and shelf space in many more physical places.  From what I’m understanding anyway, that’s even hard for them as bookstores keep closing.  So it comes back to us.  The writers.  The marketers (us, although I’m still waiting for a taker on that one), the publishers, the final editors, designers, practically the whole thing we pull out of a rabbits hat, although its better than the behind of a bunny I suppose.

The Beta readers, or even early readers after launch, are the KEY.  I mean the KEY and they need to be loved.  So give a reader a big hug when you see them.  If they’re helping in any way but giving help or writing reviews then they deserve a big hug.

Oh, and as excited as I am I may have found an interesting use for Twitter after all.  Aside from my blog heading that way, I’ve met some great fans that have become friends and heck I get to talk about my zombie, gaming, Doctor Who stuff 😀  I waved at people today.  Go me.

Social media = headache = owwwwwww.

What happens when a character gets too big for their britches?

I’m finishing up one section of my second book in the Vampire Realm series (which by the way for a few I may have to fish around for a good title that won’t give away the big surprise in the first one).  There are multiple ones with a few different story lines that all mesh into one another.  As I have stated before, I don’t just focus on one character and I promise you on this one that there are going to be a few front and center.  We’ve got Tessa, Jason and the advisors on the vampire side.  On the other we have the I.F.F. (Independent Freedom Fighters aka human rebels) with Melinda, Emma, and their expanded army.  There is a 3rd that is a big shhhhhhh at the moment.

THAT BEING SAID.  Emma has gotten quite a strong voice of her own.  I didn’t intentionally do that, and yes I reigned her in, but oh my goodness the writing that just flew out of my brain to my fingers just happened to be more than I ever thought it could be.  Emma is definitely becoming like her mother AND Tessa.  That is good.  She is a true character.  She changes from the first book, which I wanted.  Change happens with growth, but boy is she a strong-willed, more than anticipated.

Here’s the big question.  As I’m trying to reign her in and make Melinda a bigger focus on the human side how do I humble such a young adult?  Obviously she gets reunited with her Melinda.  It was bound to happen and it makes for a great divide and a pinnacle moment in the book.  I just wasn’t expecting such a personality to come from such a character.

I’ve got great character’s, mind you. I just really want to bring Melinda, and even Tessa from the other side out, stronger than I have Emma, Jason, and those who are in the know, Ariana (a key element for the next two books).  

In a quandary and could use a few writer’s perspectives on this one.

I went Cliche the other day

and went to a coffee shop down the road.  I grabbed a tall caramel latte, laid out my notebooks, my laptop, pens and turned on the ipod.  I was a writer in a coffee shop.  See? Cliche.  I got some great work done, although my wallet cannot support me each and every time, and I finished up a chapter.  Then the fun started.  

What’s better than one writer in a coffee shop?  TWO!!! (Thanks to a 3rd writers comment on my first one) Two great friends sitting together and catching up over long due news and events.  When you have good friends around you it makes a very huge impact on how a person can feel about themselves, and I do so enjoy having friends with things in common.  Sometimes we forget that there are people out there.  It is quite easy to crawl into a hole to ding out what might be your next best section and forget everything that goes by.  How much do we miss doing that?  I know I miss a lot.  So the reality check is there saying  “Hello, remember me?  I’m your social perspective and you need to get out some,”  And that I did.

There is one thing that I have learned as I feel somewhat hopelessly stuck where I am at is that I actually do have friends.  What makes these friends great?  We all march to the beat of a different drummer, heck a few of us have our own bands.  Some of them literally, but no name dropping.  But somehow, between all of it we can still sit down to have a nice cup of coffee and talk. Just talk.  Music, movies, tv geekiness (yes I showed off my sonic screwdriver pen, you all probably just laugh or don’t believe me, but I’m thinking there should be a photo at the end of this) and life that just likes to give us a nice swift kick up the wazzoo to remind us to keep on truckin’.  I can honestly say that yesterday was a good day for me and cannot wait to do it again.

ImageMy very first autograph in what could only be considered wanna-be doctor writing (hey, I get that as double-speak now).  The new thing you learned about me is that I’m left handed.  Anyone willing to hold up a hand to be able to interpret my words into digital format?  I didn’t think so, but it’s always worth a shot.