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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

On the subject of...

Writer's Weekly Question #27:
Have you ever killed one of your characters before? If so, what was the motivation behind the death?

I find this question a really interesting one and would like to tackle it in a different way... in general... not specifically pertaining to my Kesterwood stories which is the only thing I've ever written.

Before I really get into this subject I'd like to mention JK Rowlings and the Harry Potter series which Auielalata mentions in her post along with the question.

JK Rowlings upset me with something she said at an interview about killing off "one or more of her characters in the last book". Of course I was sad to hear this and no matter which character or characters it may be, even if it is Harry or another main character in the story, what bothered me even more was when she said she was doing this so that no one else may ever use her characters after she dies .. THAT bothered me most of all!

Since I have attempted to write a story, I do know the possessive feelings that you have for the characters you've developed.

And I also know the feeling that since they are YOUR characters, no one else could possibly know them well enough to do them as much justice as you can yourself. I found that small blurb in her interview disturbing. I feel that even if this is how she feels (and why wouldn't she?) that it was inappropriate to pt it out there for the public.

Not only do I feel she is a very fine writer, but I was way up there on the ladder applauding the fact that she stood her ground, never gave up in the face of years of rejects from agents, and in the end became the victor. I have always admired her and felt ohhhh so happy for her! Until that statement. Now I'm glad this is the last book, for if I had not read all the others(and enjoyed them immensely!) I would NOT purchase the last book when it comes out.

In my heart I know where the statement came from, and even know I'd feel the same way if I were the author of such great books, but.... now that she is such a success and even richer then the Queen of England.. the statement hit me of greed.

I mean... if I were her... and after I no longer existed.. and all rights were bestowed upon my heirs... is there really such a need for that statement to even be made aloud? Even though it's how you personally feel?? Just do what you feel is right.. don't tell those who are your fans that "I'm going to see to it that Harry and his friends ALL die with me." And that's what I felt she said when she made that statement. I felt as if she was taking something from me. (ME! Someone who helped put her where she is today) Not that I would really expect to hear of her characters ever again once she died. But if she's not here to do that for me, but another is..AND it's all done legally and the heirs still make money on it... then ... why not?

I love the characters I have made.. and inside, I feel as she does about not wanting anyone to use MY characters that I feel came from within ME... but once I am gone.. if someone could do justice to them and it's all done legally... then I'd want my characters to live on. I'd want those that loved my characters to have more.

I'd like to read anyone's comments (or better yet a full post!) on this subject. How would you feel about the possibility of your characters living on after you die? (and leave a link in comments so I could read them.)

Ok.. that said, down to business on the original question about killing of characters and why.

In the course of my readings, many characters have been killed off for one reason or another.

Many die at the end of books so that it's an "official ending" and to know this character will not be written about again. (supposedly)

Sometimes a main character is killed off so that others are allowed to evolve.

And other times it's just a necessary part of the story so that the basic story can make an abrupt turn and go in another direction.

Then there are the times when you never even had a thought about killing off a character but once these characters take on a life of their own, they lead you to killing someone off. (talk about surprises! ha!)

I'm looking forward to reading those who respond to this writer's question, for I truly believe there are as many motivational reasons for killing off characters as there are writers who write them!!

And besides, for those of us who love fantasy/ sci fi... there's just as many ways of bringing them back as there are ways of killing them off!! Heh! Gotta love Fantasy Fiction for that reason alone!


Blogger Chris said...

No one else can use a character that's been killed off?

Damn.....I'd better go break the news to Bobby Ewing.....ha ha ha.

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7:35 PM  

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