HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 41

Thread: "felo-de-se"

  1. #1
    Mitchell Warren
    Guest

    "felo-de-se"

    Have you ever felt guilty for killing off one of your fictional characters? No, really!


    Norman Lear once said that that Edith Bunker meant more to him than just a work of fiction, that she was almost "real" to him and that her death was a painful experience.


    While having a degree of sentimentality, I would also state that we as real people would be so lucky to die like a fictional character. In novels, every death is poetic, occasionally heroic, always fitting and has a great deal of redemptive value for those who look on.

    Real life is SOMETIMES like that. But often times, unforeseen death cheats us out of a truly satisfactory "ending" to the wonderful people we have known. Perhaps death in fiction, where we perfectly plan and control the inevitable, is our comeuppance against the unnatural injustice of reality.



  2. #2
    Robert N Stephenson
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    Sometimes I feel guilty if I don't.

    Robert

  3. #3
    JB Cooper
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    Mitchell:

    I once wrote a short story about an old woman who, in her loneliness and isolation, calls the police constantly about seeing "a man hiding in the woods." The police get the call so often that they give her her own code. (variation on crying wolf) When she is found dismembered, the effects on the main character (officer) become catylistic. After dismembering my little old, confused, lonely woman, I felt dirty and guilty that my mind could even come up with something like that. I was glad for it because I want to be emotionally invested in my work, otherwise there is no real investment other than time and I don't care.

    Great question...haven't thought about my poor little old lady or her would-be rescuer for a long time. Maybe time for another look and maybe a rework.

  4. #4
    Pamela
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    I've got about three endings for one of my wips. One of which involves the two main characters dying. Another involves a sort of emotiona/psychological death. The third is the fairy tale ending. I'd love to write the third, but it wouldn't be honest, nor would it serve the purpose of the story. Don't know whether I'm going to physically or emotionally kill my characters, but I'm terribly depessed about having to do so.

    Pamela

  5. #5
    yustas
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    At least four characters die in my new novel. One is murdered, one dies at the hospital and could have been killed, one is shot, and one suicides.

  6. #6
    Keith Browning
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    My wife asked me to try to write something about a homeless family or a homeless person, I started a short story based on a family who had a fire in their home. I killed the oldest of two sons in the fire, had him cremated and the wife freaked out, opened the urn with the kids ashes in it, then killed herself in the bathtub of a hotel. That was in the first ten pages. A kid at work loved it. I never showed it to my wife. Freaked me out too, I thought it was kind of morbid, so I put it aside after only twenty-five pages.

  7. #7
    Anteann
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    Interesting question!
    In my book, a number of people get knocked off. One of them I killed off simply because a couple readers asked what happened to him, and I realized I had just left him dangling. I felt no remorse. A couple others had to be "cannon fodder" for the story. I felt a brief "that's too bad," and got on with the story. But when one of my main characters had to go (historical fiction - historical accuracy), I was surprised at how sad it was - I kept wanting to rewrite history and leave him alive!
    What I think is difficult is writing non-fiction about that sort of thing, and I admire authors who can do that and still remain objective and calm. I don't believe I could.

  8. #8
    Murg
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    I don't mind killing off characters, at least not very much. But I haven't, and don't think I could, knock off a pet.

  9. #9
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    Murg: Precisely. The first time I met John Grisham, I asked him why he always killed the family dog (he did in at least the first two, as I recall). Am sure he didn't remember anything from that conversation, but at least he's stopped killing the family dog--so maybe a subliminal message got through.

  10. #10
    yustas
    Guest

    Re: "felo-de-se"

    Writing doesn't reflect the writer's life style. That is why it is a creative profession.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts