Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Murder She Wrote and #writemotivation

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Veronica Roth received a lot of grief last year after the release of the finale to her Divergent trilogy. I absolutely loved the first book and held off on reading the second so I wouldn't be stuck on a cliffhanger for a year. From the reviews I've read, I'm glad I did. And it's not because Veronica Roth infamously killed off the main character. It has more to do with complaints that the book is completely different from the first two--that the third book doesn't even seem to go with the previous two.

All the hub-bub got me thinking. Dangerous, I know. To kill or not to kill. The Hunger Games trilogy is all about death and murder--and in the first two books, all the character deaths were legit. Then Suzanne Collins released Mockingjay and no, just no. The death of Finnick seriously ruined the book for me. I've had many debates and discussions about Prim's death and that one seems less controversial than Finnick's. After everything you learn that the Capitol forced him to do and he finally marries Annie...then she kills him off? No. Just, seriously, no.

Even in TV shows--I stopped watching Revolution after they killed off Danny. It felt very Prim to me--the entire plot for the first season was Charlie's determination and quest to rescue her brother. Then in the first episode of the second season they kill him. Why? The same thing with Prim in The Hunger Games. Katniss volunteers to save her sister--then at the end of the third book Prim's killed off. To me it defeats the whole purpose of the entire series. Okay, maybe Katniss had to go to the Hunger Games in order to become the symbol, the Mockingjay, for the revolution and Prim's the impetus for that. What did Danny's death accomplish in Revolution? Nothing that I can tell from grilling my husband after each episode--I still refuse to watch it, but I get curious every now and then.

Why is any of this relevant to me? Because I have an idea for the death of a character and not only am I dealing with the emotions involved in killing off someone I really like, but worrying about working it into the story so it's understandable. So that the reader feels the loss of the character but can accept that it had to happen for the main character to move forward the way she needs to in the story. It all makes sense in my head, but it has to make sense in the reader's head, too. That's why I write--to engage and compel the reader, to make them feel and become so immersed in the characters and story they cry like I did when that character dies. But I'm not doing it to be shocking but because it's really the only way the story can go.

Veronica Roth apparently said she felt like Harry Potter should've died at the end of the 7th book--that his death was the only way to prove his love and was the ultimate sacrifice. I disagree. And technically I think Harry did die there for a minute, along with the horcrux attached to him. I will confess to reading the very end of the 7th book because I wanted to be prepared for his death if it were to happen. I still cried like a baby when he was in the train station with Dumbledore, but I felt very satisfied with the ending. Death's not the only way to prove love or the ultimate sacrifice. But sometimes it's the only option.

Now: Writemotivation!

#3: Read something relevant to my genre: The book I read last week was Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young. I freaking love this author. She hit a homerun with On Dublin Street and continued with Down London Road. Before Jamaica Lane is the 3rd book in her New Adult series. Maybe my hormones were peaking last week, but, holy crap, this book made me feel all the feels. The premise usually comes across as a tool some writers use to push two characters together, but Samantha Young wrote it spectacularly. An inexperienced and confidence-lacking librarian, Olivia has a crush on a guy who comes into her library. After sharing with Nate her predicament, he volunteers himself to help increase her, um, confidence and experience. Of course, even though they both swear they won't develop romantic feelings for the other, they do. And it panics Nate, who still hasn't dealt with losing his girlfriend ten years before. The interaction between Olivia and Nate and the rest of the group from Scotland--I love all of them. We still get to watch Joss and Braden, Ellie and Adam, and Jo and Cam. The writing's fantastic. Olivia's story is engaging and funny and heart breaking, as is Nate's story. I'm telling you, I was so absorbed in the story, my stomach pitched with Nate breaks it off with Olivia and I was right there with Olivia when she made Nate work harder to win her back--of course, I would've taken him back sooner, but his grand gesture in the library...perfect. I almost cried there, too. Seriously. Stupid girly hormones.

#1: I bought a special notebook with three subjects (and new pens, of course) so I could work on my main story along with the two sequels I'm planning in that world. Yes, each idea gets its own subject section--I'm not as OCD as some people (*cough* KT), but I have my quirks.

#4: Blog weekly. Okay, I'm a couple weeks late, but this counts, kind of.

#5: Had my critique group with my awesome panhandle people last Thursday. They're so freaking amazing--geniuses. And they love my writing, so I'll keep them around a little longer :-)

#6: Once this is posted, I'm visiting some of my co-writemotivation people and checking out their blogs.

Leave me a comment! What do you think about killing off characters?