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Friday, November 4, 2011

Death of a Character

            In my last blog post about how being a writer is like being a Creator, Vanessa asked, “… what happens if you kill a character, judgment or remorse?” (See comments section of “Writer as Creator”). This is a serious question and reminds us of the question many have for God. Why does he allow death in the lives of His loved ones? I cannot in any way presume to know the reasoning of God when He, in His sovereignty, allows death. I can only guess, or maybe only say what I’m thinking when I allow it in my character’s lives.

            In my current work-in-progress (WIP) my heroine’s mother dies when the character is only fourteen years old. This sets up a chain of events in her life that, let’s just say, weren’t the best years of it. I grieve with the main character as she negotiates the loss of her mother, but I also know the end of the story. She traverses a long, arduous land, but after many years, she is able to move past this trauma, clinging to her God and Savior, which is a good place to be. Though she still grieves the many smaller losses of not having her mother in her life, she is able to move on, stronger than she was before.

            I do NOT, however, grieve for the mother. Being a believer, I know she is with the Lord. She no longer knows suffering of any kind. And even if she is aware “up there” that her child is struggling, she will be sure that God’s goodness will prevail.

            There are other characters who also die in this manuscript. The two main characters wonder about one, and how his life could have been different. I wrote this so the reader would consider the impact he or she could have on the life of another troubled soul. But in the end, I believe God KNOWS each person to the core and will therefore, act justly toward him or her when allowing His own judgment. I, on the other hand, don’t even want to judge my own characters, even though I have created them and know their hearts. I want to see each individual as having potential to really know Christ, and wonder always, do I have a role to play in that knowledge.

            Death carves great holes into the lives of God’s children. One can never take that lightly—even in fiction. But God is bigger even than that hole. He can fill it, though the landscape may look a little different when He does.

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