Dead Man’s Party: I lost a character I loved today

By Holly Lisle

I got my words today — 1112 of them, which was more than the 1075 I had to get.

And they absolutely flew. And mostly I loved what I got, and the part that I hated still was necessary and important to the story. It was good storytelling — and good storytelling beats being nice to your characters one hundred times out of a hundred.

Even though what I had to write broke my heart.

Had a character I’d known at the beginning would die at the end.

And then I had this absolutely great thing that happened that kept him from dying — and like the Energizer Bunny he kept going, and going, and I could see him at the end of the book, actually getting to live out the rest of a life.

But no. This morning while I was outlining, my Muse said, “So now, today, he has to die.”

And I was protesting, going, “Wait, no, no… I figured out how to save him.”

And Muse said, “No. I figure out how to save him, and I saved him because this thing he has to do today is what kills him.

And then the Muse showed me what he had to do today.

And my Muse (that monster) was right.

I have three or four SHORT chapters left to get to the end of this novel, and I’m so excited because I love the story, and I’m really looking forward to doing the revision.

But today the story broke my heart.

It did it for all the right reasons, and the guy who didn’t make it was already a hero — which I knew — and he became a bigger hero.

But dammit.

You know what I mean?

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