F – I cheated and asked my husband for tonight’s idea. Something that begins with F. I was taking a chance on a sassy answer but, instead, I ended up with a memory.
Two-thirds through my novel I killed a main character. No, not the main character but someone who influenced everyone else in the book, someone whose ambition and moral ambiguity almost got the other characters killed.
Once I realized this man had to die in the pursuit of his dream, I froze. His death worked in the story. It provided extreme tension, tragedy, and triumph. The narrator suffers from her grief, deals with it, celebrates her dead comrade’s life and makes sure his legacy survives. In the process, she realizes what is truly important in life. But, I just couldn’t kill him. First of all, I liked this character. He was smart, tough, and ruthless. He was funny and sexy. He was just too hot to live. I pondered and fretted for two weeks. How would he die? When? Once I made those decisions, guilt set in. Ridiculous, I know. I wasn’t worried about how readers might feel, I just felt guilty for dispatching him.
It took me several days to write the scene. Now that I was ready for his death, I wanted it to resonate. The gory details weren’t important. The reactions of his friends mattered. I described the circumstances through the narrator, using her reaction to him dying rather than gruesome descriptions of the event. Finally, when I finished the scene, I was sobered but satisfied.
But, I missed him. So, when fellow bloggers described their muses I began to wonder. Could this character take the shape of my muse? Why not? After all, the ancient Greeks had lovely fantasy maidens as their muses – why couldn’t I have a handsome smart- alec as mine? So, now, when my muse is elusive, I’m not surprised. After all, I did sacrifice him to the plot gods, so I don’t blame him if he sulks occasionally.
Who is your muse and why?