Killing People Takes Me to My Happy Place

Posted on 06/02/2012 by

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I’ve known how Path (the series) ends for a while now (which is immeasurably comforting) but that just means I can see all six thousand plot strands and characters threads that are converging on the final book. And right now it like it’s going to be this dense, frenetic cascade of trauma and I just want to throw up my hands and run away and hide.

Or kill people. I mean, not rage kill. More… killing people takes me to my happy place kind of kill people. Um. What I meant is, killing character’s is… oddly calming… Not the blood on the walls, but the fact that if a character dies their story ends, they have resolution of a sort. And that’s remarkably appealing. Especially when I’m looking at everything I have to cram into this book.

So (because I find it strangely calming) I’ve been quietly killing everyone in my head one by one. Just to see what it does to the plot, to the other characters. Basically, so I know how each death would alter the book. I was expecting there to be a certain similarity to it — the people most affecting suffering or feeling guilty, the ripple effects from there, the plot warping around the misplaced thread… But it didn’t go like that at all.

One person died and they all went mad. A second died and the country descended into civil war. A third died and… everyone lived happily ever after… Seriously. They died and nothing happened. It was a little disturbing.

And then I didn’t know what to do. Kill that character, because if their death means nothing, what’s the point? Let them live, because if their death means nothing what’s the value in it? Erase them from existence? But I can’t do that. They have a purpose in the plot. It’s just that for various reasons all the other characters have a way of getting over this one’s death. They aren’t in any way reliant on them. The others would be sad. They’d grieve. But they’d move on. They’d forget.

And now I’m afraid I’m giving the character a complex (or I want to?). I mean, seriously, I’m looking at this perfectly nice character whose presence in this story is important but whose death would be so quiet. And then I sort of want to kill the rest of them for not paying enough attention.

Then again, perhaps I should put off making any decisions till I’m not feeling quite so homicidal.