So! Here I am with a writing dilemma. I figure I can just pour out all my thoughts here (sans spoilers) because hey…I’m an aspiring author and that’s what we do. We write to understand
I’ve got this character. Let’s call him…This Character. (TC for short.) And TC eventually gets shot by a bullet so powerful, it can take down an airship hovering at 500 feet. And this isn’t a marksman’s work we’re talking about here. This is close-quarters, in-your-face, I-want-to-see-the-veins-in-the-whites-of-your-eyes-before-I-shoot-you close. Yeah, it’s bad. But TC is not the target. Nope. He jumps in front of someone and takes the shot. BOOM.
But here’s my dilemma. Apparently, TC is someone whom all my current draft-readers absolutely love and drool over, which I’m kind of ambivalent about myself, honestly. Granted, he’s good-looking and hilariously awkward sometimes…but I guess I just don’t have that same sort of love for him that my drafters do. Respect…ish? Yeah. Like he’s my super-awkward best friend who’s also extremely attractive…
Let’s go with that.
ANYWAY. Boom. TC gets shot. In the chest. By this bullet. And I’m sitting here thinking, “THIS IS A BOOK THREE PROBLEM. STOP BUGGING ME ABOUT IT, I’M ONLY ON BOOK ONE.” And he won’t. Consequently, I sit here to flirt with the line of life and death and to decide whether or not he bites the big one. I guess I’m writing out my thoughts to make some sort of sense of where my head is going with this.
Pros to death – Tragedy; defying expectations; writer’s sense of twisted satisfaction; heroic leap into a bullet.
Cons to death – Angry mobs; Angry letters; Angry emails; Angry drafters; Angry family; social isolation for an indeterminate period of time; I lose TC, who has given me a great amount of grief and happiness at the same time.
My only problem now is, is almost killing him cliche? Personally, I would grieve his death, then move on. That’s what people do. When someone dies, they grieve and move on. I fear my personal safety if I do off him, though. So we’ve boiled it down to two problems on my end.
1 – Is it cliche to almost kill a character and then save him?
2 – If I kill TC, I may have to build myself an underground bunker fit for a nuclear war to avoid the angry mobs.