The Countdown

According to the NanoWrimo website there is 09:09:36:… at the time I start writing this. Can it really be just 9 days? Wow, the time flies.

Do I have the outline I wanted to have? No.

Do I have the hordes of notes I had last year? No.

What do I have? An idea, a character, and a place to go. Discovering writing at its best.

But, I did come up with an intriguing theme as I mused last night. Speaking of which, I have absolutely fallen in love with Brandon Sanderson’s Writing Excuses podcast. I just finished the one on character death and due the briefness of the podcast (one of its finer points if sometimes you wish there was more) they left it vaguely pointed in the direction of if you kill them, kill them well, kill them meaningfully, and make it fit within your genre.

The “meaningfully” and “well” caught my attention more than the genre. I will probably be revisiting that one later. But, to kill a character meaningful and well… That seems like a tall order. So I began to dig around in my memory like a child in a closet tossing items behind me as I picked them up and examined them for likeliness of a good example. Besides, I was looking for something specific. Not a major character death. But a secondary character death that makes you cry and jump up wishing you could be the one to pull them from harm’s way. Finally, I found the gem I was looking for.

*  *  *  S P O I L E R   A L E R T   F O R   W H I T E   C O L L A R   (T V   S H O W)   I F   Y O U   C A R E  *  *  *

Second season, Mozzie is shot. Who is Mozzie you may ask, not knowing but still not caring about the Spoiler alert. He is the quirky, conspiracy theorist friend who has bailed the lead and co-lead out of many a jam. Oh, don’t worry, he complained the entire way, but he never once said no when someone needed him. Then he ends up shot, on a park bench, the gun with a silencer, and almost no one caring about the slumped over guy on the bench.

That’s meaningful. Wait, no that’s well. Meaningful is going to be that without this death the lead wouldn’t ever find out what man was actually pulling the puppet strings.

For those who know, Mozzie makes it. So it’s not my best example. But honestly I hate killing characters.

So why I am going on about this then…? Because for NanoWrimo 2012, I am going to kill a character. And I want to make the reader tear up, like I do — sappy me, watching this death happen.

Ah, but the tangent returns me to my intriguing theme: Trust of necessity and trust of generosity. You can trust someone out of need, and it goes so far. But real trust, the kind given in solid relationships, that generosity. It’s a trust that one gives for the sake of giving. Not for further ends.

And that, my friends, is how you make the death meaningful and well: Loyalty. No really, it makes sense. Look at your own examples. Hell, look how most people react when the Pet (mainly dog) has to die in a film: Old Yeller and I am Legend.

Next goal…write loyalty…. Wonder if there’s a podcast on that.

Write long and prosper. ;-P