Monday, October 19, 2009

To kill or not to kill

I am being a big, huge coward right now.  I am not only not writing a story I really want to write but am actively avoiding even thinking about it because someone in the story does something that is worthy only of death, and I just don't want him to die. 

It's not that he doesn't deserve it, and it's not that I feel sorry for him.  He's an adult who made his own choices, and he chose to betray everyone who loved him.  I just feel bad for the people who must pass judgement on him.  They are the ones most cruelly betrayed because they really love him.  To ask them to condemn and execute him is really hard on me.  (It's like that bit in Barrayar.)  But coming up with any other outcome seems fake and forced and thoroughly unfair. 

He doesn't want pardon; he wanted to betray everyone and then die.  It's not that he hated them.  He was mostly trying to get back at someone else entirely, but he had to go through them.  He's consumed by bitterness.  His revenge plot was thwarted (yes, I think he was relieved about that, but despair can warp you).  You can't leave dynamite like that sitting around for so many reasons both general and specific.  The only appropriate ending in this fantasy world is death.

But I still want pardon, somehow, or mercy or grace that isn't forced but flows organically from the plot, the story, the characters, the world.

I really need to just start writing and see what happens, but I'm afraid I know how this ends.

Have you ever read a book like that, where you start liking people and suspecting that things just won't end well, and you drag your feet reading it?

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