Okay, we all know that it’s going to happen at some point, but we hate to discuss it. The Cruise didn’t go as well as we had hoped, the life boat is going down and someone will have to die. Just between us, it’s not going to be me! They were my dearest friends, and while I was sorry to see them go, well, it had to be done for the good of everyone else.
What! Don’t look at me like that. They had to die, and that is that. Tension, strife and sorrow advance the plot. The story is pretty much over once your hero lives happily ever after!
It’s all about the emotions that the characters experience in the course of their lives, and sorrow is a strong emotion. Joy is a strong emotion, but joy feels so much better when it is contrasted with sorrow.
How do we write about the other emotions? Every author has their own way of dealing with emotions when writing their characters. Some authors write characters that are dealing with anger and rage, and they are able to build entire novels around this quite well. Author Daniel Stanton does this well in his thriller, City of Champions. Some authors can really bring the feelings of romance to life, and they will build their career writing romances that are really wonderful escapes. Brianna Lee McKenzie does this in Enchanted Heart, or Lili Tufel in her romantic action novel, Sand.
I love reading books that explore an emotion, and in which the character grows through the events that happen to them. One book that I recently read is a historical western, based on the life of William Bonney, called ‘Billy the Kid’s Last Ride’. The author, John A. Aragon was able to convey the emotions, and enthusiasms of Pretty William through his prose, and did it in such a way that as a reader I felt that I knew and loved The Kid.
Books that I put down and forget to finish reading are usually flawed in many ways, but one that is insidious because a good editing won’t solve it, is characters who lack emotional depth and breadth. In books that really move me as a reader, the characters express their emotions, either through thought, word or action.
Which brings me back to my point, which is that often when a cruise has begun to go awry, someone must die! Death offers the opportunity to express grief, love, regret and hope. There’s nothing like a death to inject a little life into a tale!