Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Just Committed Murder

Well not really, but it did get your attention, didn't it?

For the past few weeks I've been thinking of how to increase the tension in my WIP. As I near the climax of the story, I decided there aren't enough bad things happening to my protagonist. She was plugging along, thinking she was going to wrap it all up soon. The person who she was sure was the killer is dead and that kind of put a crimp in things, but it wasn't enough. I was at the point where I was thinking, why doesn't she just give up and go home? I certainly would.

(If this is going to spoil reading the story for anyone, stop reading this now.)

So the only thing I could do was kill the person who has been her best friend since she was four years old. Yep. I did him in. Chris Danchek is the reason Summer is in Gettysburg in the first place. He had invited her to his wedding, but when his fiancee dumped him a few weeks earlier, Summer decided to visit him anyway. While she's there she witnesses a fight between him and and a guy trying to build stuff too close to the battlefield. In short, the guy gets murdered and Chris gets arrested. Summer spends most of the book trying to prove that Chris is innocent. When someone else is murdered and someone runs Summer off the road and into a tree, VERY, VERY HOT (and I mean sizzling) FBI agent finally believes that Chris is innocent.

But just when Chris is going to be released from jail, someone stabs him. He ends up in the hospital on a ventilator and all that stuff. He was getting better and was just about to be moved out of ICU. Summer was happy.

And that, dear friends, was the problem. She's not supposed to be happy yet. The book ain't over. I went back and forth, talking to myself for several days. Should I or shouldn't I? I finally decided it was the only option. I had to kill Chris. In a very dramatic scene, Summer is talking to above mentioned FBI hunk about evidence found in the murder of the person she thought was the murderer. Confused yet? Good. Her cell phone rings. The display shows it's the hospital-she thinks it might be Chris calling-that he was off the ventilator and in a regular room. It's not him. It's the nurse. And well, to know more, you'll just have to read the book.

It surprised me that it was such an emotional scene to write. I mean, I really liked Chris. He and Summer had an interesting backstory. I didn't want to kill him, but I had to do it for the sake of the story. Summer will now be emotionally out of control, out for revenge, and willing to take much bigger risks which will make for a kick-ass showdown at the end of the book.

So, do "yinz" think I did the right thing? Who would you kill off for the sake of your story?

10 comments:

Judy Schneider said...

Great post, Joyce! I'm thrilled to hear you committed murder. And I especially love it that you killed Chris. It tugs at my emotions and I don't even know these characters yet. (And yes, I'll still buy and read the book!) It sounds as though you've put Summer in a dire situation, right where you needed her. Good luck with the ending, Joyce. You're on your way!

Kristine said...

Wow, Joyce! You killed Chris? Whoa, baby! I didn't see that coming at all, but I can just imagine the conflict possibilities it opened up for Summer.

I think you made the right choice, and I can't wait to read how you did it.

Joyce said...

So, I guess I made the right choice?

It IS very dramatic. Right now I'm on the scene where she goes to the hospital to see him and find out what happened. I have to admit that it's given me and the story a whole new energy. I'm having fun!

jrenee stuart said...

I don't know Summer (yet), but I mourn her loss and I pity the bastard that killed him. She is *so* gonna kick his ass.

Your oldest son avoiding papers said...

I thought the FBI person was going to be a hot chick...I don't think I'm going to read your book now.

Ok, maybe I will...

Joyce said...

Andy, that paper better be done!

Signed, Your Mother.

Anonymous said...

What a gutsy thing to do Joyce. I feel a little bad that my trauma nursing experience helped you to kill the guy though rather than save him. Once a nurse, always a nurse, I guess. And, regarding Andy's comment about thinking "the FBI person was going to be a hot chick"...I must say as your Lesbian sister...I kind of thought that might be interesting myself. Hmmmm! Amy :)

Joyce said...

Amy, thanks! By using the words "hot" and "lesbian" in the same sentence, you've probably just increased the hits on my blog by at least 20 percent. :-D

Annette said...

Can't wait to read it, Joyce!

Anonymous said...

Happy to be of some assistance, dear one!

Amy