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Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Grieving for My Character: Guest Post by Tamera Kraft
I am happy to call Tamera Kraft my friend. She is smart and caring and a wonderful writer. I recently asked her to write this post for A Novel Creation. I know you will enjoy getting to know her here. And while you're at it, don't forget to check out her books. Her newest is a novella called Resurrection of Hope. To learn more about it or to make a purchase: Click HERE.
Grieving For My Character
By Tamera Lynn Kraft
Have you ever cried during a movie or while reading a book because one of your favorite fictional characters died? If so, imagine the grieving process for us poor authors who not only created those characters but also had to kill them off.
One character in particular still causes a lump to rise to the back of my throat three years after writing his death scene. Joe was an honorable Christian slave before the Civil War. The daughter of his master was an abolitionist who was helping slaves escape to freedom. When a wicked man attacked her, Joe stepped in the way and was killed.
I was devastated. I had no idea Joe would do something so heroic to save my heroine. I cried for a week whenever I thought about it. My husband tried to console me explaining that Joe was a fictional character. Poor man didn’t understand, nor did he understand how I could be so upset about Joe dying when I was the one who wrote the scene. I tried to explain that I had no idea Joe was going to do such a thing, let alone be killed, until I wrote the scene. He just jumped in the way of the bullet. My husband is still shaking his head about that one. He’s not an author.
I went through all the stages of grief with Joe. First I couldn’t believe he’d done that. I didn’t plan on him being killed in my plot outline. Second I became rather irate. I am in charge. I’m the writer. How dare one of my characters go off and get himself killed without my permission. During the bargaining stage, I thought if I rewrite a few scenes, maybe I could save Joe. The depression stage is where I cried for a week and ate lots of chocolate. Finally I learned to accept Joe’s death even though I never really got over it.
In my newest novella, Resurrection of Hope, I also had to deal with the death of one of my characters, but I can’t tell you who. You’ll have to read the story. Fortunately this time, it didn’t come a surprise. Since I planned this death from the beginning, I had time to emotionally prepare, but the loss of any of my characters is never easy.
There is an exception. Evil characters who cause my protagonist heartache give me a certain amount of satisfaction when I kill them off in delightful ways. Ah, the life of a writer.
So when have you grieved over a fictional character’s death?
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. She’s been married for 37 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren.
Check out Tamera's website: http://tameralynnkraft.net