I killed my darling. I had a purpose, and its life cycle needed to end. The murderous trail of vengeance had to stop.
I also needed a “happily ever after,” of course. I know, I know. It’s cliche, but I put my own spin on it. After all, isn’t that what an author does best? Old ideas, fresh spins? Besides, how often does a horror story actually have a happy ending?
I’ve heard a lot about how my book, Til Death Do Us Part, ended too soon, and that the readers wanted to know more about this character or that character, but (and maybe this is my fault for not making it clear as the author), the real MC of the book, the real protagonist, isn’t even a person. It’s a ring.
A Tiffany’s diamond ring, no less, but still just a ring.
Well, perhaps that’s not quite right as the ring goes on and curses everyone it comes in contact with. Maybe not “just” a ring after all.
When I started Til Death, it was meant to be a holiday blog story, never going any further than WordPress. My readers fawned, and a friend (who also happened to be a publisher) read the blurb I wrote for the book and stated her interest in the story.
So, I edited, and sent it to my betas. Three times. Then I sent it to an English teacher and edited it once more before submitting it to my friend’s publishing company, Bannerwing Books.
In all of that, not one person mentioned needing more backstory, more about the “human” characters in the book, except the opening character, Ian, needed more fleshing out. I did that. I struggled with the voices in my head telling me to give them the ring and continuing the circle.
Then, I thought about it. Honestly, would I keep reading a book that only had someone die time after time while keeping the ring away from who it’s really meant for? I could, but I didn’t think that would be very interesting. It went through so many hands, killing off so many people, that to keep it going would make my story lose focus and perhaps even join that pile of so many other inanimate objects on a killing spree.
I couldn’t let my story become just another anything. It’s not my way. If I won’t want to read it, why should you?
So, I killed my darling and wrapped the story up as neatly as I could without losing any attention to details. Is it short? Yes. Does it move fast? Absolutely. That ring changes hands faster than a toddler with diarrhea fills his diaper. Should it? Would it be better to draw it out more and build the story of the two meant to be?
I disagree. It’s about a ring. Their story is exactly as it should be, with just enough information to wedge their way into your heart and make you cheer for them. It’s the ring’s happy ending after all, and that is how it should be.
Ever read my poetry? No? Well, here’s your chance, plus you can do something good while you’re at it. I’m donating all of my royalties from the sales of this anthology my poetry is included in to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Double good reasons to buy this book! Reserve your copy today and be one of the first to own the nectar of the gods.
While you’re here, please take a moment to support my walk Out of the Darkness, a local walk I am participating in for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It really is a cause close to my heart. You can read my story here.