N.M Sotzek

Author of the AIM Chronicles

Blog

The Web of Plots

Posted by nsotzek on April 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I wrote up a template for the plot for the sequel. It's mostly finished. I just have to figure out how I want it to end. I've added in some minor plots as well, but once again I'm not sure which ones to choose. Right now my outline looks like one of those 'choose your own adventure' books (those things were great, weren't they?). If you go down one path, and choose this plot, and then this other sub-plot, you get to one ending. For example, I'm undecided about which characters may or may not die. If (s)he dies, then I'm forced to write a certain ending I'm not convinced I should write. But if (s)he lives, then it may seem to be too happy of a book, as though everything works out great in the end, which we all know doesn't happen.

Killing off a main character is difficult, especially since this is only the second book in a prospective series. If this character dies now, there's no chance of another appearance later on outside of the books I write in the past (in terms of the story world, of course). On the flip side, some of my favourite books have the main character killed off. I've always loved that. The author took such a risk, and was so confident, I had no choice but to admire that and love that style. I'm all about showing realism in my writing.

I don't want to sound pessimistic, but life doesn't always turn out the way we want. The guy doesn't always get the girl. The characters remain hurt and never heal from something that happened in the past. Some characters will never change or learn from their mistakes. Those are the characters I've always loved the most. Sure, it's great to read a book where everything goes right and they live happily ever after, but now it's gotten to the point of predictable in books, TV shows and in movies.

It happened last time to me, too. I started writing, and things just ended up happening. I may have to rely on that again. If a character is going to die, it'll happen somehow. We'll just have to see.

Here's a little tidbit about me: my favourite death scene in a book is in 'Wuthering Heights' when Catherine dies. Nelly tells Heathcliff that she's died while he's waiting in the garden, and he's immediately tormented with grief.

'May she wake in torment!' he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. 'Why, she's a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!'

How can you read that and not be moved? Could you imagine 'Wuthering Heights' without Catherine dying? Sometimes a character dying is for the best of the book.

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