My God, I’m convinced I must have been a murderer in a previous life. Here I am only paragraphs into writing my new novel and already I am plotting someone’s death. I wouldn’t be so alarmed if I hadn’t already taken a few lives in my previous books. I even killed off a hen in one of my children’s books. What’s up with all this killing? I am seriously beginning to think I should turn myself into the proper authorities and tell them it must have been me, whatever murder they have unsolved…yeah it must have been me. This is serious stuff.
I always thought if I were to be a writer I would write fun stories. Stuff like family sitcoms or happy Disney-type animal stories. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. This is my third adult novel I’ve begun to write and among them I’ve killed off over a half-dozen people—and so far there’s one more in the works in the pages I wrote today.
I got to thinking about all this, wondering what it means, if anything. Of course it is not unusual that an author specializes in a particular genre. There are many writers known for their mysteries or suspense novels. Others are habitual shock masters. And, of course, there are plenty of murder specialists. Am I one of the latter? My mother would be so upset. She never let me play with guns and knives or poisons. She even fought my father on the chemistry set.
There’s an old writer’s cliché that advises you to “write what you know.” Wow, if I’m prone to write about a lot of people dying, it really pisses me off because I know a lot more about sailing. I much rather write about sailing. Of course, I’d probably have someone falling off the boat and drowning or being eaten alive by a shark.
There is one subtlety to my predicament. Not all my victims have been murdered. In fact, most have met with an unfortunate accident. Let me think about that for a minute. Hmm…uh-hum…yeah but…oh…oooh….wow! Okay, I’m back now. Here is what I’ve have concluded. I am not a murderer; never have been. I’m just a death enhancer. I enhance circumstances that lead to death. There is no intent involved and there is no way that I can anticipate what action of mine is ultimately an enhancer of circumstances that leads to someone’s death.
I feel better now. I think I have cleansed my guilt. I no longer feel responsible for the sad demise of any of the characters in my books or elsewhere. I didn’t cause their deaths. I only made them up and then wrote about them. It’s the old “don’t kill the messenger” thingy. Oops…did I say “kill the messenger?” Hey, I’m the messenger. Uh-oh did I just enhance a circumstance?
Here is my newest kid’s book in which no one dies….well, wait a minute. It is possible that a few tadpoles maybe didn’t make it.