To Live or Die

I am now working towards the end of Castle, The new King. This is the last book and I have to make sure there are not too many loose ends. During the first two books, and even in this third book, I’ve introduced characters both good and bad. Most characters were somewhere in between, after all no one is perfect. However there comes a point in stories, especially in medieval ones, where some one important has to die. I do not kill one of my characters lightly, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

One is that I have built up my characters carefully and hate to see them go, even the evil ones. The other reason is, I dislike reading a book where the author kills a character just for effect or to make a scene noteworthy. The death sometimes comes off then as made up like a soap opera on a TV show. One of my favourite authors, Robert Sawyer, did this in Hominids. He killed off a character at the end in what seemed to be a contrived and cheap way to get an emotional response.  

However as I wrote the Castle series I came to a point where the logical step was to eliminate him/her. For example if I wrote about a character that continually liked to swim in shark infested waters, then eventually I would have to write he became dinner.

The other part of the Castle series I have to wrap up is the relationship between characters. As readers will know there is a contention between some of the couples where they will live, Earth or Domum. For some it will be a deal breaker. If she or he will not live in Earth or Domum, then they will have to part ways.

Like the decision to kill off a character, I will not keep them together or break them apart for the sake of getting shock value.

I’m currently in New Zealand but returning to Alberta next week. I hope to have The New King finished by then, unless, I decide to drink some more of their great wine. Then all bets are off. Writing under the influence is not recommended. 

Cheers,

Jack

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