My latest novel, The Letter, differs from all my others. This time I didn't kill any of the characters. Not one. And that's a first for me.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a sociopathic serial killer. At least not in the real world. But as a novel writer, I have to create conflict and drama in my stories to keep them interesting, and when it comes to creating drama, death is about as good as it gets.
Most of the time, the dearly departed is a notorious villain with whom karma has finally caught up with. Big time. In four of my novels a bad guy, or gal, got what was coming to them. The one exception was The Journey, where I had to kill a supporting character who I truly liked. So much so that I tried writing a few alternate scenes in which the character didn't die, but they just didn't work as well. Killing this character off heightened the drama, which made the story more intense and a more interesting read. Nevertheless, writing this character out made me feel genuinely sad.
There is one character in The Letter I thought of killing off. Like most of my other "victims," it was a despicable antagonist. However, unlike the others, this character also had a young child, and I simply couldn't bring myself to create an orphan. So, this time, instead of an untimely if not painful death, it's a terrifying near death experience. Surely you didn't think I'd let a villain get away scot-free, did you?