Monday, April 25, 2016

Death and Taxes

The old saying goes that there are two things certain in life, death and taxes. I doubt Benjamin Franklin imagined Godzilla being the bringer of death in this instance, but that won't prevent me from mentioning Godzilla... Beacause... Godzilla!

This being the dreaded deadline month for filing taxes in the United States, I don't want to retread the pain many of you had to go through this past week. Instead I want you to consider an alternative. Revenge! No I am not advocating that you go tar and feather your local tax man. I am talking about how writers get their frustrations out when life gets really crappy and there is not much you can do about it. We take it out on our characters!

Killing Characters

MWAHAHAH! You should be MWAHAHAHing with me. That is the first step in planning the death of a character, but which character are you going to kill? or you could go all Game Of Thrones on your manuscript and kill off every meaningful character there is to replace them with others. If you're not into getting a reader invested so you can take away all the characters they care about that's OK. For now let's just pick one character to kill. There are Care Bears out there and they care, so we'll settle for just one brutal bloody death.

Next you must think of the most painful way for them to go. A knife puncture to the lung causing them to choke on their own blood. Encased in a reinforced glass box with a glow stick and then buried in wet cement. Use your imagination to find the best way to torture, dismember, and ultimately kill your character. Vent all of your frustrations with your character being the representation of whatever is causing you anguish. All the stabby feelings will leave, but you will be left with a mess to clean up.

Clean Up Your Mess

I'm not just talking about a body here. I mean, if there is a body left. There is more to this than the killer trying to cover their tracks. Once I have killed a character off, I consider how the other characters feel about it and how they will cope. Losing a friend or a lover is an emotional experience. They could vow to never love another and that could cause them to become cold towards others. Perhaps the other characters all worked together so they could mix the blood with tomato to make a salsa for their nachos? Mmmm... nachos.

I also consider how that death fits within the story. Can I bring the character back like a comic book? Are there clones? Perhaps that character was a spy for the Clockwork King and they just sent vital plans for the only weapon that can stop him. Run for your lives! Oh wait..  you're the author, so you have control. What was I talking about? *wanders off leaving you to take care of the mess*

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