One of the characters died in the book I’m writing. Not just a character, someone very close to me: a unique individual, a beloved friend.
I see the death, aftermath and funeral clearly in my mind at various (usually inconvenient) times or places throughout the day and tears may trickle down my cheeks or I may get sad and depressed. Is this one of the pros or cons of writing? I’m not sure.
Someone invariably asks me if anything is wrong. “A friend died recently,” I sniff.
“Oh, I’m so sorry.”
“Yes, it’s sad, but don’t worry he wasn’t real.” (It’s no wonder I have a reputation.)
My daughter saw me moping the other day. When she asked what was wrong, I told her my favorite character had died.
“What are you so sad for? You’re the one who killed him.”
AAAAHHH. It was like a knife in the heart. Ok that’s a little dramatic but you get the idea.
“I did not kill him. So and so killed him.” (I can’t name who did it. Who knows? You may read it someday, and this would spoil it.)
“Well you made them do it. It’s still your fault.”
“It is not my fault.”
It’s amazing how adept we humans are at shifting the blame. I wanted to blame my muse for the death, after all she went on the lark and came back with lots of fodder for me to use. But I was afraid to blame her; I didn’t want her getting angry at me and running off again.
I’m not the only writer faced with accusations of murder. It’s an occupational hazard. Who’s to blame for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? Friar Laurence who orchestrated the deception? Romeo the impetuous? Juliet the romantic?
Or is Shakespeare the true culprit?
Or could it be that we humans are not to blame for anything? The serpent is the one who started it. I say we blame it all on the serpent.
This is a revised post from 8/2011