November 14, 2010

a small disaster.

I'm grieving for one of my characters, who just died.

Dorothy Sayers writes of the tension between the sovereignty the maker has to shape the story according to a controlling idea, and the characters' free will to do what their natures necessitate. And in a true story, the characters' natures acting in free will aligns perfectly with the author's idea and message.

But today I realized that Tarvas's character didn't accord with my idea for the book, and his personality made the plot impossible. I tried, (really, I tried!) changing my idea, but it simply ran into dead ends. So I've killed him. It wasn't a dramatic death; it happened silently, and he'll simply disappear from the story.

I'll keep his memory alive in the photo montage I made last week of my characters before this development came along. I'll still cherish him, especially in the delightful cooking scene he was in. But I'm afraid he's pretty much gone, and the closest I'll get to resurrecting him is in the character who will replace him. Yes, that character will be closer to the true nature of the character the story needs. I certainly hope it makes the story more meaningful and more true. But I miss him already.


Caitriona aka Catherine said...

I think this is a case of your character not dying in vain but for the greater good of your story. As the author this is a reflection of you being an imagine bearer. God sees the big picture and it is in His control not ours to give us life and take it away. So, you have done in your story.
Thanks for sharing a part of your process.

Echoes in Ink said...

This is the hardest part of being a writer: seeing your beloved friends, enemies, lovers and saints have to die at your hand.
But they do not die in vain, I think. I will miss him too (I've never met him, but a cooking scene automatically endears him to me) and I loved reading your workings on this story.

Michael said...

Alas. He seemed like such a cool character! Cold water, and suddenness.