Killing my darlings

For July, 2022, Rhobin sent us a list of 6 topics suggested by Connie Vines, asking us to make a smorgasbord selection. I consider this wasteful: if I was running the show, which I am not, thank heavens, I’d consider this to be half a year of topics.

Therefore, as a matter of principled resistance, I’ll write about only one. I tried to close my eyes and use a pin, but my computer screen screamed just before the pin struck. So, OK, in the list is: “The character you just killed.”

Every character in every one of my stories is my baby, yes, even the baddies. When a person emerges from the electronic womb of my computer, I need to get the inside view of how s/he perceives reality. Being cursed with too much empathy, this means understanding and even compassion. Never mind the evil acts necessary for carrying the plot forward, the act and the actor are distinct and separate.

I use this fact in therapy. So, how can I not apply it to my own creations?

And yet, my characters do horrid things like murdering a bunch of little children or violating and murdering a 14-year-old girl.

Yes, I am shuddering, too. Sorry.

And yes, the first criminal went to jail, and the second died the following morning. The plot demanded that I kill him, but then his victim gave him unconditional love, so how could I do less?

Um… Didn’t he kill his victim? You’ll need to read the book to find out. Tell you what, though. Buy any of my other books in any format, and I’ll email you a free copy.

In real life, death is not the end of a book, but the end of a chapter. So, that comforts me when I do have to kill my darlings.

I’ll be interested in which topic(s) my fellow bloggers chose, and what they wrote on the issue. So, after you have commented, please visit them:
Rhobin Lee Courtright
Skye Taylor
Marci Baun
Helena Fairfax
Anne Stenhouse
Judith Copek

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
This entry was posted in Rhobin's round robin, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Killing my darlings

  1. Skye-writer says:

    True, all the characters are your darlings and it’s hard to kill someone you’ve created, but you seem to have found a way to pull it off successfully. Not sure I’m up for reading about killing and raping kids though. I have a hard time with an adult being raped and my reading is my escape, my entertainment. I’ll just have to take your word for it that justice has been done.


  2. Pingback: Round Robin – July ’22 | Novels Now

  3. Rhobin says:

    Interesting perspective, as usual! I like to think everyone contains some thread of evil, and hopefully, even more threads of good to prevent their evil from taking place.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Oh no. Rhobin, for once we disagree. I think the perpetrator of even the worst acts is not evil as a person. You are not what you do, good or bad.
      I consider them to be infant souls, yet to develop the ability to feel empathy.


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