Friday, April 8, 2016

First, Do No Harm

A strange thing has occurred in my story. It might not seem strange to you, but the fact is, it’s never happened before. I introduced a new character first referred to as "the doc." When I first wrote those words, I didn't have a character in mind. When these things happen, regarding probably minor characters, I decide things like gender, age, personality and whatnot kind of randomly, whatever pops into my head. In this case the character became female. No big deal.

But then, our hero Eli, who has gotten himself into some trouble, says this about her: “You think that’s necessary? I mean, she’s probably busy.” It seemed innocuous, but I suddenly something from this hesitation. They have a history. Of a romantic nature.

Big deal, you might say. People have exes all the time in fiction. They sure do, but not in my stories. No one has ever had a relationship like this in anything I've written. I'm not sure why, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to and between these characters. From what I have so far, their interactions are civil, even friendly, but kind of awkward. And then there was a whole conversation about sheep with knives, but I'm not going to get into that.

One thing you should know about me is that I have a longstanding habit of doing mean and violent things to my characters. If you are a main character in my story, there's no way in hell you're getting out unscathed. Typically, these are the sorts of things that I would probably cut out of a final version. They just end up in the first drafts because I enjoy causing pain and it takes up words.

However, in this story, I don’t think I can cut it out. Being sheriff of Serenity, Eli found himself breaking up a bar brawl between some locals and some Mesadians who were up for the bridge building. The details aren't important. What is important is that Eli gets slashed with a broken bottle in the course of this, which he tries to blame on a knife-wielding sheep (don't ask). Point is, it's this incident that introduces the doc. And I can't think of a better way to do it. It just seems right. So it has to stay in any later versions, unless I cut out her character entirely, which would be tragic.

Why would I have to cut out the violence to begin with, you ask? Because no one but me wants to read that. Why would I want to read that? I don't know, I'm a little twisted. There's bound to be something wrong with me. But if you read a story of mine, rest assured terrible violence will befall my main characters. Sometimes repeatedly. And that's something I have to stop if I ever want to publish anything.

Anyway, until next time.

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