Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Can't Kill Him

By Marcia Mickelson

I haven't written in over a week. My BIAM goal is not going well. I have to kill one of my characters, and I just don't think I can do it. I've researched several times the symptoms of his death. I know exactly how he's going to die and why he has to, but as I sit down to write that scene, I can't kill him.

I'm so close to finishing this book; less than 10,000 words to go. All I have to do is kill him. I don't think I've killed any of my characters before. In Reasonable Doubt, one of the characters is already dead as the book opens, so I don't think that counts.

This is the first time I've had to kill someone, and I think that's the reason I'm having some writer's block. I really want to finish this book, and my goal was to have it done by the end of the month. I don't think it's going to happen. He still needs to die and I will do it, but I just don't know when. Maybe I need a few more days off and then I'll try again.


Amanda said...

Sending you...some kind of vibe (I won't call it luck) that will help you. Killing a character you love is so hard.

Annette Lyon said...

That first kill is hard. (I blogged about mine too--and how I cry when I kill off characters.)

But here's a thought--does this character have to die? JK Rowling said that Book 5, Mr. Weasley was supposed to die, but she just couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

For crying out loud Marcia, if its not some terminal disease that lasts for months or years, you don't need 10,000 words to kill anyone.

The knife pierced his heart. His eyes closed and he drifted away. Forever.

Thirteen words.

Or you could go with the shorter version.

John died Saturday morning.

Get rid of the guy. Let the reader mourn his death and move on for the love of it...

Tamra Norton said...

LOL Anonymous!!! :) It's hard to kill the ones we love. Good luck!

Marcia Mickelson said...

Thanks, Amanda for the vibe. Annette- I think the character does have to die. I don't love the character; it's not like I don't want him dead. I'm just not in a killin mood, I guess. Anon- You made me laugh. Thanks. The 10,000 words also includes other loose ends I need to tie up and a few scenes I have to go back and finish. The death takes place at the end of the book, so I also have to wrap it up.

Robyn Heirtzler said...

I killed plenty of characters in my last book. I hope it doesn't mean I'm heartless, but I didn't struggle with a single one.

You just do what you've got to do. It's fiction. There are no legal repercussions.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Oh, you poor thing. It is hard to kill characters. I knew a few were going to have to go in my Civil War series, I mean, it was a war. Once I started, it was easier...and easier...makes me sound like Ted Bundy or something.

The funniest was when I killed my husband and his best friend, who's also my brother-in-law. It was war. They had to go. It was my 2nd volume of the series, and my husband had been listening to it on the audio version. Once he heard me kill him off, he said, "THAT'S IT! I'M NOT LISTENING TO ANY MORE!" And he hasn't!

Still makes me laugh. I must be sick.

Well, girlfriend, just close your eyes and do it. Then, as you finish off the manuscript, you can decide if it works well or if you need to change it. Maybe it'll be easier if you tell yourself that's what the delete key is for.

Many hugs and good luck!

Julie Wright said...

look how evil we all are . . . cheering you on to murder a character. I own a grocery store and write a lot while customers are browsing. one of our regular always comes in and asks me if I killed anyone yet. Then he describes all the gruesome ways the characters could die. It makes me wonder about him . . .

I hate killing characters too. I am a huge wimp.