Unusually, I just dumped about 400 words of the November novel. The reason? I am not entire sure. The chapter is an alternate future and I have to kill off the male lead and horrible maim the female lead (you will have to read the book to understand why this make sense).
Since our male lead is an active member of the US Marines, I conveniently had him redeploy and he was leading an expedition on a recon mission and headed straight for a hidden IED …
And I stopped writing. To me, it did not seem the correct way. I mean it would have worked easily, but it was not the scene for me.
It seemed to me that using the Marines or any armed force that was actively deployed to kill off a character, well that seemed to me to lessen just a little the deaths of those that really did die in Afghanistan. It seemed a little disrespectful. I know that using the scenario in Iraq and Ahfhanistan is acceptable – I have seen it sued effectively in cop shows – it was not the way for me to go. My chapter notes said “Kill off Mark”.. Too trivial. I am aware that we say we are fighting for freedom and democracy, and that obviously includes the freedom to write whatever fiction I want to. But I served in the Canadian Navy for a summer in the reserves, and I have a deep respect for those who agree to carry out whatever orders come down from above. And I just felt uneasy about using their bravery and their loss as a convenient backdrop to a chapter described by only one sentence.
So I am rewriting the chapter. I think he gets killed in an armed robbery before he deploys. We will see what happens.
As an aside, I am a little surprised that I feel the way I do….
Nov 19, 2011