I’ve been working all week on the sequel to The Kings of Charleston and yesterday I had to say goodbye to one of my characters (wouldn’t you like to know who?), which was sad, but I knew it was coming.
But I don’t always know who’s going to live or die. Sometimes I write a character with no intentions of them disappearing from the story, but as the mystery thickens it sometimes becomes necessary.
I recently spoke to one of my good friends and she asked me if a particular character in The Kings of Charleston was named after her, and I answered emphatically “Yes, she is!”. Then my friend asks “So why did you kill me?” Oops. “Well, I never meant to kill her…” Which is so totally the truth, but just never quite makes sense when you say it out loud.
And although the character was named after her, this characters fate in no way reflects how I feel about my friend. In fact, this character was fighting to reveal the truth, but just got in too deep to the point she had become a liability to those who didn’t want her snooping around. I had intended for this character to hang out maybe even into the second book, but it just didn’t feel right and her eventual ending was necessary.
Her description about reading of “her” characters demise will stick with me for awhile. She said she was reading The Kings, her husband asleep beside her and then she sat up in bed and said “she killed me!”. Her husband rolls over confused and when she explains, he rolls back over and goes to sleep. I laughed so hard, the scene from The Help where Hilly’s reading the book in bed running through my head.