Friday, 20 January 2017

I'm a Wuss by Joan Lennon

I'm a wuss about all sorts of things - time travel, for example (I'm cowardly about bad smells and no painkillers and dying in childbirth and what do I do if my glasses break?) and going into caves and aggressively spicy food and the fear of falling through not-quite-thick-enough river ice. And as a writer, I'm a wuss about killing characters.

Knight, Death and the Devil by Albrecht Durer 1513 (wiki commons)

Now, mostly I'm able to avoid the scary stuff by choosing not to time travel, go into caves, eat spicy food or walk out onto dodgy river ice. But as a writer, sometimes, the choice isn't mine. In the story (for 10+) that is currently banging about in my head, shouting for attention, the plot requires death. And not just a few random extras in red shirts. Central characters are going to die. And I don't like it. I've put off starting this book. I've danced about trying to find ways of saving everybody. And it just can't be done. Characters are going to have to die and, not only that, characters are going to have to grieve, which is worse. Unlike Stranger than Fiction, there is no way out for me. I'm going to have to face my wussiness.

I just need to woman up and get writing. Any thoughts, advice, reactions would be gratefully received, though.  Thanks!

Yours wussfully,

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.
Silver Skin.


Penny Dolan said...

Be bold, be bold - and have comforting things in the real world alongside.

Susan Price said...

What Penny said - and also, I find, that once you've nerved yourself to kill once, it gets easier. Read 'Game of Thrones' if you want to see it done with bravura.

I am myself contemplating killing an entirely innocent and likeable character and I'm afraid my only and cold-hearted concern is: Will it work for the story?

Sue Purkiss said...

Must admit, I got fed up with all the dying in Game of Thrones!

Sue Purkiss said...
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