Death and Fiction
When I started The Mina Marley Chronicles, I had already planned who would live and who would die by the end of the series. Set in stone, there were some characters and some yet to come that have continued to have the Grim Reaper’s presence surrounding the. But never did I expect that a character’s death would impact me in a both negative and a positive way.
I remember when it came to writing the death scene declaring on social media that this was going to be tough call. The response was kill your darlings or a good character cull is refreshing, however many may not have realised the significance.
Ray Marley, Mina’s father was one of the first I knew would die. It was needed because his death would bring another significant character and I didn’t feel it was plausible for them to be both together in the same world. I needed to break Mina and make her vulnerable and so increase the impact of entrance of the new character. It worked, readers were shocked by the reveal and I’d done my duty. The gamble paid off.
However, when I made this plan never in my dreams did I expect reality and fantasy to merge into one. A couple of weeks before I was due to write the scene, my own father died unexpectedly. This as you can expect knocked my writing schedule right out of the window. But what this did was able me to use writing as a release, but it was also the hardest.
The death itself wasn’t so difficult to write. It’s in the middle of an action scene where many characters are all scrambling to save their own lives, but it was the aftermath. I found myself connecting with Mina on a deeper level and more of my own feelings and actions filtered through. All the pain, anger and resentment was there as well as trying to keep everyone happy by being okay. When it came to the funeral scene, all the thoughts and feelings were reflective of my own and so much so that those that have read it and know me personally have been brought to tears by it.
Now maybe putting that much of myself into those scenes were not such a good idea, but for me writing them was a great healer and release. So here is an extract of that funeral and I hope it touches you as it has many others.