Archives for August 2018

Another Murder Most Foul

As I move along through the Blood for Blood rewrite, and close in on new material (as opposed to  rewriting the dozen or so chapters I had), I’ve been giving equal attention to where I am now in the story, where I’m going immediately after this, and how I’m going to wrangle it all in within fifty thousand more words.

The break I took for the past couple of years has actually been pretty useful –  it gave me time to give a lot of thought to the last third or so of the book. Which I recall as being very nebulous the first time around.

It’s not so nebulous now. I’ve got a few set pieces for the next four or five new chapters, and a couple more in the last part of the book. But I’ve expanded one of those latter set pieces. I’m going to kill one of the continuing characters in the world of Night and Day.

That’s all well and good. Sometimes characters have to die, to move the story along, or because there’s really no place for their story in the overall story. It was mostly the former and a little of the latter when I killed off Johnny Three-Legs in Bandit’s Moon. His death started the chain of events that led to the end of the book. And there really wasn’t anyplace to go with Johnny. I could have kept him around, had him pop up from time to time, but he was never going to be a more important character than he was in Bandit’s Moon, so hell, let’s send him off on a high point.

There is a purpose for killing off this continuing character in Blood for Blood. It will be part of the chain of events that lead to the end of the book. But mostly I’m doing it because, frankly, I don’t like the character.

That’s right. I don’t like the character. I’ve never liked the character. And now I’m going to kill the character.

Sure, I could come up with some way of getting the character off stage. But knowing myself, I’d always know that the character was out there, and maybe down the road I’d decide that perhaps I could bring the character back, for one reason or another. It’s like somebody you despise, but you haven’t seen them in a long time, and you begin to think that maybe they were okay after all.

No.

After this book, I don’t want to ever have to write dialogue or actions for this character ever again. I want to drop the hammer on the character and walk away.

It did take some heavy thinking to come up with a way to do it. Just because I want something to happen in a book doesn’t mean I can just make it happen. It has to make sense. The character couldn’t just step off the curb to cross the street and get hit by a bus. The death has to be organic to the story. It has to have a reason that moves things along.

After a lot of thought, I think I have a way to do it. I won’t be 100% sure until I get to that point, which is still some time away. But I think it will work. And my hands will be stained with the blood of yet another Night and Day character. I don’t know how I sleep at night…