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Don't Call Me Kevie

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How do you do it?
Life. Love. Arithmatic
erika_sanely
I'm in the middle of writing a fic, and I have to kill off my OMC. I have no choice in the matter, 'cause the fic won't work if the guy lives. But how do you cope with that? I can't believe it, but I'm a mess over this.

The guy isn't real, doesn't even really have a face or a voice, but I can't kill him off. I just can't. I want to, but when I go to write the words I break down. I'm crying all over the place about a character that doesn't exist, and most likely no one else will give a toss about. His story-line is the main plot in the fic, but christ it's hard to make him dead.

Anyone else out there killed off a character in a fic? And if you have, can you please tell me how you coped. This death was supposed to emotionally scar the other guys in the fic. Not me.

I need chocolate. Or alcohol.

For the record, this is the last time I ever kill someone. It's too frigging hard.

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I don't know, lassie. I've bumped off a few guys but no one that I've really liked -- except Chris that one time and that was very difficult to write. I definitely got choked up on that one. But as for OMCs, I suppose it depends how much you invest in them. You obviously feel like you've built this guy up; he's your baby. In trying to make him important to the characters, he's become important to you.

*thinking*

I suppose it's a matter of destiny. People (read characters) all have to have their last act sometime. It's how they affect others that's their real legacy.

Hmm, okay, practical advice...How about skipping the death scene and writing the reactions to his death first? Writing the legacy before the last act, as it were. Making it a past event might get you over your need to save him and let you get on with the story. Your baby will still be of import, never fear. :-)

I don't know if I've built the guy up. He's really only in three scenes of the fic, but his story isthe plot. I really didn't think this through before I started.

I actaully did what you said - wrote the deaath scene last - which is why I think I got in trouble. I got myself worked up over the guy being dead before he really died. Probably didn't help that I was watching the "Jenna leaves Survivor ep" and the ep where John Ritter died in "8 Simple Rules." I'm a sobber from way back.

Oh dear. {{{hugs}}}

{{{Sympathies}}} I know it's hard, but you have to be ruthless to the demands of the plot. I've killed plenty of minor characters in various stories, but I think the only major character I've ever killed off was Qui-Gon Jinn in a Phantom Menace AU. As most Phantom Menace AUs exist purely to save Qui-Gon, the shock of his death in that piece was quite effective.

And yeah, you do need to be that cold-blooded about it, which is a lot easier said than done. How I dealt with Qui-Gon's death was to put all those conflicting emotions into my surviving characters. You want the readers to feel that grief, so channel it into the work itself and express it through your other characters.

It is tough, though. Even J.K. Rowling had trouble writing a major character death in Order of the Phoenix. But. If the plot demands it, then that is what you must do; anything less is an insult to both the characters and your readers.

Oh, and just so you don't think I'm a total cold-blooded reptile, I've cried over my characters before, too. Hell, I'm such a wuss, I cry over sappy long distance commercials. Writing is scary shit, man. Cry. Fix a drink. Have a cig. But write the scene, no matter how much it hurts. That's what you're going for, after all, that sucker-punch in the gut.

Well, I took your advice, and just went ahead and killed him. I really doubt that his death is going to cause an impact on the reader, but I honestly didn't realise how much thought I had put into his character. There's almost 30 years of history that he shares with a major character that they never mention, but adds to the layers of their friendship.

I'm glad its done. Thanks for the advice.

There's almost 30 years of history that he shares with a major character that they never mention, but adds to the layers of their friendship.

One of my friends once told me that 90% of her research never even makes it into the final work. I've found this to be true in my own work. Even so, its impact is felt because you did the work and created the background. It makes the characters and their world more rich, gives them a weight of reality they would not otherwise have.

{{{Hugs}}} on the scene. I'm glad you got through it and that you found my words helpful.

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