So, I almost killed a man today. O.K., so it wasn’t nearly that bad. I seriously considered killing him, though. Did I mention that he was a character in the book I am writing? Oh, that might help you understand why you shouldn’t flip out.
Seriously, I have killed hundreds of men in my first two books so far, including a couple that I have invested some time in developing, so what was the big deal? Why didn’t I kill this guy? His death would have helped advance the story, and his death would have helped drive home a point I was trying to make, so why didn’t I just kill him?
I wrestled with the decision for days. I thought about it. I envisioned the direction the story went if he died, and I envisioned the story if he lived. The long term view of the story was the same either way, he would have been a ripple in the stream of the story line. Why didn’t I kill him?
Ultimately, I decided that this story is for kids. Slightly older kids to be sure, but kids nevertheless. Killing this character would have driven home a point I had already made, but the overall story would have seemed darker. I kept the (young) man alive because ultimately this story is about hope, not despair. I hope when you read Book Two of the Vergrinn War series you will appreciate this, and maybe once I sell a few million copies of my books and sit down and write the “behind the scenes” junk and “author’s annotated edition” and everything else to milk some money out of it (I’m practically giving it away now), I’ll provide more detail.