19 November: Easy on the blood

So things are coming along nicely. I’ve written over 2,000 words today and am just 850 words behind target. The story is unfurling easily at present and the action hotting up.

One of my main charcters can be extremely violent. Not in the sense that he takes any particular enjoyment from it, rather in a practical sense that he has no qualms about doing what he feels needs to be done. He was a military man and, as a General, saved his country from almost certain defeat by being prepared to do what others were not.

So far he’s not been going around bathed to his elbows in blood, because that was not necessary in the context of the story. (In the previous 65,000 words he has only killed one minor character and a handful of men who ambushed and attacked him.)

Today I had to write a scene where he shocked one of the other characters (his long lost daughter) by his actions and how apparently cold-bloodedly he was during an interrogation scene.

When it came time for him to dispatch the person he’d been interrogating (and torturing) I almost wimped out. Ah, just let him go, I thought. He wasn’t really involved. He’s just a young man. But I had to think it through logically. Would my character have let this man live or would he have killed him? I came to the decision he woud have killed him, so that’s what I had to do. I can’t say I particularly enjoyed writing that whole sequence, but this is one of my main themes – the capacity of humans for violence and humanity – so I have to address it.

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