Sunday, February 21, 2010

In Memory Of...

So, if you're not familiar with my fanfic tendencies, let me clue you in to a major one. I am good at writing character deaths. When writing a long story, that's one of the first things that I plan out and, strangely/sadly, I look forward to it. Not to the same degree as one reader who said quite memorably about one character, "Yay! They're married. Can he kill her now?" But I almost always start a story with a bit of wistfulness for those who will not make it to my closing word of every epic: "Finis."

Well, not so with this book. After writing Alex for a while, I wanted to kill him off, but wasn't about to be that petty. As soon as I worked out one part of the plot, I knew two characters were going to die as a result of that crucial part.

But, as I said, the book is being written non-linearly. I first wrote the scene that is in the aftermath of that crucial part and a huge emotional impact comes from the death of this one character. Then I went back and wrote the scene preceding the event and realized that I could choose whether or not to kill that person off.

And so I reached my first actual crisis of character when it came to a death. I can't claim that I shed any tears over the idea, but I really like this character. "Good old JK" says that Harry Potter came fully-fledged into her imagination and this relatively minor character is like that. I don't remember coming up with her, but in one of the first scenes I wrote, there was a lovable bisexual redhead who eschewed cars and rode her bicycle everywhere. She and that bicycle kept turning up and I'm not sure where the bisexual part of her came from (we've never seen it manifest yet), but once I started getting to know her, I realized she was. She was another person that cracks me up in this story and I needed a character like her. Sadly, for the interest of making the villains as cunning as they're supposed to be and for the purpose of driving a permanent wedge between two characters, she's going to die after all.

One other character that is like that but who is NOT going to die is Julie. In my very first draft of Chapter 1, I was introduced to Ella's best friend, a wisecracking person whose bag looks like AC/DC and Jackson Pollock got into a fight. She was based on a friend of mine, but her artistic sense is based on one of my three best friends in high school, who decorated everything from her bag to her Converse with Wite-Out. When I went to to discover her appearance, I found out that she looked something like my very good friend and ex-roommate. I didn't realize it until I got to her glasses and went "Wow, wait...That's just weird."

I love being introduced to my characters.

I'm getting to 100 pages of text this week! Wish me luck!

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