Dec 6, 2009

Writing is like playing God...or acting like a seriel killer

Last night I had an amazing (if incredibly long) talk with my CP, Kelly Reese. Other than e-mails, we really haven't had much time to sit down and talk so I was very excited when she called me last night to chat. After my cell phone died, we resorted to IM, and WOW--some of the things we were saying in shorthand could probably have gotten us arrested had we been talking in a public place!

I thought I'd write down a few of our most crazy lines...

Kelly: OH! I love ------ for no particular reason.
Me: Oh, I know! She's awesome! Great personality, cute, witty... At least until she dies-- she's not so spunky after that.
Kelly: NOOOOOOO! Why do you always kill off the people I like?
Me: I don't WANT to kill her off! I HAVE to.
Kelly: But i like her for no reason!
Me: If it makes you feel any better, I won't enjoy killing her. I'll probably even cry a little.
Kelly: GOOD!

So that little chunk of IM magic got me thinking. Wow, writing really is kind of like playing God. You create people only to kill them off. That, and I have a really intense plot! And I kill off a hellofalotta people! But I'm not that bad...I mean, take Karen Rose. Superb writer, incredible plotlines, characters to die for, NYT Best Selling author...kills 20-something people a book. She's got around ten books now--that's 200 people offed, just like that! So, what I guess I'm saying here is--at least I'm not that bad.

But then, a while later, we started talking about a different chapter where a new character and his family make their debut. That's when my whole writers-like-to-play-God theory went right out the window.

Me: Oh, I forgot to tell you, John's* family dies later on, but I haven't written it out yet.
Kelly: NO! Why?!
Me: I need them dead; it's nothing personal. Speaking of deaths, I should also tell you that I'm killing Lee* off too.
Kelly: NO! What about his family?
Me: It's because of his family that his ass has to die. Blame them.
Kelly: But his family is okay?
Me: Yes. They're fine. I'm only killing off a few people...Jane*, Lee*, and John's* family. Oh and a priest that you haven't met yet.
Kelly: I think your inner seriel killer is coming out...

Hmm. So maybe we writers don't mirror God so much as a sociopath on a killing spree. And I though I was writing a romance--paranormal though, it may be. I supose anything worth reading has a few deaths in it, right?


  1. Oh yeah girl, you DEFINITELY have to kill off some people to make the story real. And I know what you mean about killing off characters that you like... as we speak I am planning the previously unplanned demise of one of my favorite characters.

    It's kinda fun though, isn't it?

  2. LOL - writers do have some of the strangest conversations! Anyone listening in might start to get just a little bit nervous :)

  3. Ha! That's funny. I always feel like I have to put LOL afer I mention something like that on twitter because not all my followers are writers. I can only imagine what some of them must think. It might a explain a few of the unfollows...huh.
    Thanks for the post. Writing the story--and the control it gives us--sort of helps to balance all the control we don't have in trying to get it published, maybe.

  4. I haven't had to kill anyone just yet, but I'm working up to it. Then I'll feel like I've really joined the club.

    And yes, these are the kinds of conversations that probably shouldn't happen at a coffee shop... :)

  5. Death is apart of every story, just like it is in life. I haven't killed anyone in my WIP yet, but I know sooner or later someone will die in the later coming books (it is a series).

    And yes, maybe this conversation should stay over the phone or Im :)

  6. I love it :-)

    1- your long convo with your CP. My crit partners and I send these MASSIVE e-mails back and forth, it's so much FUN.

    2 - playing the puppeteer, is always such a rush!

  7. LOVE IT! We are the puppet little puppets, dance! (insert evil little laugh here). LOL.

    Also? having those conversations are MUCH better in IM or over the phone. I remember I was looking for a special "dagger" type weapon for my MC and came across something that would be perfect at a local flea market. So, there I am...weighing this weapon in my hand, asking the hubs "do you think a person could carry this concealed on their person? Is it small enough for that? And could it do enough damage to kill someone? Is it hefty enough for that?"

    The lady next to us? Immediately decided she had a million places she'd rather be than right next to someone who may or may not have people buried in her basement!

  8. Yeah-- these convos are great but def can scare people...especially when talking about murder and weapons!! Thanks for the comments!

  9. In my opinion, writing is doing horrible things to the people you love. Even if you don't kill your characters, they do suffer awfully. I do promise them happy endings, though. Most of them!

  10. What you said about strange conversations SO struck a chord. I've ghostwritten thrillers and have had some EXTREMELY strange conversations about killing people!

    Also, I've woken in the dead of night wondering how I can bring myself to write such horrible things!


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