Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Death ... and other scenes...

I'm working on a story - fiction - and I just killed off my first good character.  This is a character that is what I'll call a second tier character.  She's not a main character but is closely related to the main characters.  I've never written a scene like this before.  It was challenging.  I wanted to it to be a gradual realization who was killed so I found myself writing and re-writing sections to make it less forthright. 

Often I laugh at what I write.  I'll giggle over dialog I write or even over things that happen to my characters.  I'm moved by the story as it unfolds.  So it was no surprise to me when I'm writing this scene where the woman's parents and lover are standing over her dead body saying goodbye.  I hope it is as poignant as I think it is.  I'll find out when I get to editing.

This story needed a catalyst to make the battle seem real, to drive home the point that what the characters are doing have lasting and devastating affect on the other characters.  I'm handling it in a bit of a different way too.  Without giving too much away, the story is about people who are trying to throw off a bad government.  It takes place in a time of magic and swordplay - both of which are outlawed by the government.  Well the heroes have been fighting the bad guys and have killed some.  There have been a number of battles which are not always easy to write and choreograph. 

With the death, I didn't want the reader to find out about it during a battle.  My main character has to inform the parents of the death of their daughter and that is where the scene starts.  I am liking how it is turning out...

Another thing I've noticed is that the scenes seem to settle around me until I can almost reach into them and feel what the characters feel, experience what they are, taste what they eat, feel the hardships they are coping with... Sunday when I was doing crafts with everyone, I kept playing this one scene over in my head.  I filled in little details like puffs of dust coming off the ground as our heroes head from one battle to the village they were protecting.  I can almost feel the heat of the late summer, the dry dusty road, the wilting affect the heat has on everyone from horses to characters.  The deeper I get into the story the more I can experience the writing in this way.  It is fascinating...

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