Friday, April 29, 2011

Character Assassination

Character assassination - a topic nobody likes to talk about, but a very necessary act sometimes. Those of us who write novels oftentimes find ourselves in the awkward position of playing the role of an assassin.
No matter in what person we choose to write, we, as the author, have the omnipotent knowledge of everything that has happened in the past, is happening in the present, and will happen in the future. There are characters that live in our stories that we dearly love and then there are those who are integral pieces of the story, yet they are only destined to one end; an assassination orchestrated by their creator. 
This is the difference between human beings and diety when it comes to creation. Mercy for a fictional character is not relevant when it comes to the end of the story. We are willing to 'off' our characters at a whim, just because we want to; or sometimes it's a case of needing to for furtherment of the story.
I, as a reader, have found myself deeply disturbed or even horrified at the author assassination of some characters in the books that I have read.  Somehow, I will have developed a relationship of connection with each character in a story and find myself emotionally affected by the death of a one of these characters. This happened while reading one of Marion Zimmer Bradley's books in "The Mists of Avalon" series. I won't say which book because I don't believe in spoilers.
As I continue to write "The Malakai Chronicles", I keep in mind the reader's connection to characters and I am being very conscious of how eliminating any one of them may affect a reader. The characters in "The Malakai Chronicles" are rich with a lot of thought in their creation.

Are we Gods / Goddesses in our title of author? No, not really. We are creating ficitional stories; a reality that only exists in the imagination of the reader. How we respect the readers' emotional connection to their own imagination is the real test of character assassination.
I am excited and looking forward to summer of 2011 when "The Malakai Chronicles" is scheduled for public release.