Now that we are on the other side of Christmas, I'm anxious to re-focus on my writing. At my last signing of the year, I sat down and ironed out on paper the remaining plot holes in THE TYRANT KING. Earlier this month, I was able to plot out the entire story of THE LOST PRINCESS. And, now that I have people literally clamoring for my next book, I'd better get moving.
My husband has a network of amazingly supportive friends where he works, most of whom have purchased at least one copy of my book. Last week, he shared a bit of a short story with them that I'd written for my mom forever ago. And his friend immediately asked when THAT story was being published.
I told him he has to stop talking about my stories. He asked why. I said, with my current schedule, there's no way I can keep up with his mouth! :)
The biggest challenge of plotting out my trilogy has been deciding who lives and who dies. Really, only a handful of characters have proven untouchable. But I also don't want to kill characters off for the sake of killing them. There has to be a purpose, or reason, for their death that makes sense from the plot perspective. And I'm kind of worried, because there are a couple of characters I deeply love who might meet their end in THE TYRANT KING. I wasn't expecting that.
There's very little death in THE PEASANT QUEEN. I mean, most of the important deaths occur before the book starts. Only two characters die in the book, and they are the bad guys. But, in THE TYRANT KING, the villain is much more ruthless, and much more deadly--arbitrarily--than in THE PEASANT QUEEN.
But, in THE LOST PRINCESS, there isn't a murderous enemy. Most of the conflict comes from internal character issues, though there is a little bit of a power struggle the characters involved are not murderous. They feel justified that they are on the side of the right, so they don't feel they should have to resort to murder. But, it's not realistic for the events that happen to transpire without costing at least one life. And, it's a big death, a meaningful one. I'm still struggling with it. All the primary characters will feel it--they will all react.
I remember JK Rowling saying once, on this topic, that she'd tried to kill Mr Weasley several times, but he kept surviving. But the Weasley family couldn't be untouched by the events, as close as they were to them, so it did cost. When I look at killing off characters, I play out the events and then wonder what the cost would be. In one instance, a character poisons someone so he can escape, but logically, as he reaches the stable to get his horse to steal out of the castle, someone is there. Someone who would raise the alarm. Someone who, if injured, would die before help would arrive the next morning.
It's amazing how much logic and reason have to go into a fantasy novel. :)