Don’t P*ss Off the Writer…She Might Kill You.

I just caught up on one of my TV shows, SANCTUARY, a SyFy show where one of the main characters was killed off.  Now, I don’t know why TPTB decided to get rid of the character since in the same episode, they introduced another character who is exactly like the first one except this one is brunette and isn’t the heroine’s daughter.  I can only assume that the original actor wanted out.

We all know that in the world of television, when an actor decides to leave a successful shoe, their character is often killed off.  Often the tabloids claim that the character is killed off to make sure the actor can’t come back.  Kind of a revenge for thinking the actor can do better somewhere else.  Sometimes, an actor can talk their way off a show gracefully; then you often see their character “go on sabbatical”, so to speak.  That leaves it open for a character to “return” to the show without prejudice.

Now, TV writers can’t do that, but we book writers have it sooo much better.  Your car mechanic cheats you on your repair?  Make him a thief in  your next book.   Your mother-in-law gives you grief about how you’re raising her grandchildren?  The serial killer you’re writing kills her in a most gruesome, long-lasting death you can imagine.  Did your boss let you have a half day off so you could go to the KISS concert for which you had tickets?  Reward him by making him the secondary character who wins the 10 million dollars lottery.

We have so much control of the world’s we create.  If we feel happy, there’s sunshine and butterflies.  Rain dripping through a willow tree might be the day your old cat dies.  I know I used the sheer terror I felt when my youngest son had brain surgery in a book when my heroine’s son went for a kidney transplant.  In a lot of my more emotional scenes, I often dig into my memory box to give me the tools I need to craft a particular scene.

I have to admit…most of the time, I’m struggling like all get-out to write my books, chapter by chapter.  But, occasionally, when someone p*sses me off, they’re history.  And I can’t get arrested!


9 thoughts on “Don’t P*ss Off the Writer…She Might Kill You.

  1. Great post, Jackie! I like to unload some of my emotional baggage in my stories.
    I’m not sure why the writers kill off great characters. Kate in NCIS! But I do like Ziva.

    • I think they killed off Kate because the actor (whose name I don’t remember) wanted out. And I like Ziva better than I did Kate though it shocked me when she got shot through the head. I KNEW that meant she ain’t comin’ back.

  2. Jackie,

    I’ve been killing off people who I work with for years. When they really get to me, I come home, sit down at the desk and write a body discovery scene in a murder mystery. The madder they made me, the more violent the death that occurs. I never finish the book, or even the next chapter. That would be like I CARED that they got killed and wanted to find the killer.

    I just want them dead. But not literally. spw

    • Uh, I hope you burn those scenes. You know, if any of those people ACTUALLY get murdered, if the cops find them, you’re toast!

  3. Hi!

    I love it when someone gets off’ed.

    I read a post earlier by another romance author on the RWA community loop and she said she tapes her brainstorming sessions and during one of them when she listened back to the tape she kept repeating, ‘if you’re going to kill a kid make it count’.

    I think that’s what you’re saying ladysuran 1. For every dynamic person you meet or how we feel when we write, our readers should be able to feel the same way. If we’re angry when we write about the sneak thief, then our readers should hate that thief and the horse he rode in on too?

    And when we’re weepy and emotional our readers should cry right along with us.

    Sometimes I’m guilty of not knowing how I feel about a scene and so my writing is blah.

    Thanks for the words, they’ve given me some direction.


    • Always glad to help, RD. Personally, I think my worst weakness is getting emotion into my writing. I tend to be emotionally very private and it’s hard to open up in my writing.

  4. What I really love when a character gets killed off is guessing who in that author’s real like that person was. It takes some digging, a litle internet research, but its fun.


    • Lynn, I never wonder about the real person who might have templated the character. I just get jealous of the author who can do such a great job.

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