Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bodies, bodies everywhere....

By R.J. Harlick

Have you ever had a change of heart about a character you intended to dispatch, and found you had become attached to him or her?

I have left a few bodies on my pages, haven’t I? Was I sorry I did them in? Hmm…let me see.

I did rather like one or two of my victims before I sent them on to the big beyond. Some were so nasty, I was quite glad to kill them off. And some died so early in the stories that I barely had a chance to get to know them, let alone become attached to them.

Some victims were planned at the outset, others happened during the course of the story telling. I remember one character ended up being murdered because I was stuck. I’d hit a brick wall in my writing and was having difficulties moving forward. A friend suggested killing someone I hadn’t planned on.  So I picked one particularly unsavory character and did him in and broke the logjam.

I’ve not yet been tempted to put an end to a character who has become integral to the series, one that I have grown to love. Though I did come close in one book. But if Elizabeth George can do it. I don’t see why I can’t.

So to answer the question, I’d say no. Thus far I’ve not regretted any of my victims, even those I liked. And I’ve never decided to let a planned victim carry on with life. Their murders served a purpose, were integral to the story.

Oh dear, it sounds rather heartless, doesn’t it? But I do write murder mysteries, though focusing on the actually killing isn’t exactly my thing. I prefer to explore the motivations that drive ordinary people to commit the ultimate crime.

I mustn’t forget to offer my apologies for missing my blog date two weeks ago. My husband and I were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary across the sea in the south of France. I’m afraid writing blogs was furthest from my mind.  Here’s a glimpse of Nice where we spent one glorious week.


Paul D. Marks said...

Happy Anniversary, Robin. Your vaction spot looks...nice. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Susan C Shea said...

Well, that's a lame excuse for not posting! :-)

I deliberately killed a lovely person in my third Dani mystery (out in the spring) because I wanted to shake up the reader and the protagonist. I was, briefly, sorry, but oh well.