Monday, September 30, 2013

I killed you last night.

"I killed you last night in a story." Pause. "It felt so good I'm going to do it again tonight." Those are words I used with a coworker once. To be fair, he was an annoying little sleaze and I would have gleefully beaten him within inches of his life. I felt it was a good compromise. And when I told him, with a big smile on my face, he took the hint and stayed well the hell away from me for a few weeks.

As I recall they were good weeks.

I've killed a lot of people I know in books. Mostly, ironically, by request. The most they get is a first name and a description that vaguely resembles them. It's not a matter of legalities. A piece of paper wold fix those. No, it's a simple factor: I don't like killing my friends in books. What if what I write should come to pass? How many decades of therapy would THAT require?

I use real people as springboards in everything I write, but I don;t use the whole real person. I'm far more likely to incorporate bits and pieces that fit together rather well. And with the exceptions listed above, I never use real people's names. In the case of sleaze-boy, he would have never recognized himself. I completely changed his physical description and his, well, everything. But -I- knew who I was killing in extremely violent fashion. The first time he died it was while being swarmed by rat-sized demons who took bit bites and chewed him into shreds. I'm pretty sure I did him in a few more times.

I have said more than once that I am paid to kill people. I kind of like it, too. Great stress relief, trust me on this.

But when I write about anyone,, any character, the odds are I'm remembering someone from my life. t might have been a customer from a store I worked at, or that pretty girl I saw exactly once at the mall, or a child whose smile was so infectious that it was worth remembering.  I think every writer does. I very seldom go beyond that level.

I prefer to make stuff up whenever possible. It's why I write fiction.

Most of the characters would look something like this if you could see where they came from.


  1. Good point the counseling sessions for your other issues rather than guilt over killing friends in books. :)