work in progress Wednesday – character deaths and spies…

River Hull Boardwalk, by Paul Lakin, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Title: Battle Scars:
For King and Country
(book 2 of a series)
Current word count: @77,800 words

There’s been a tragedy. Not the one where I deleted my Scrivener file and nearly lost 54,000 words.¹

No, the tragedy is the death of a character I wasn’t expecting to kill off. I’d planned a different character death but the man refused to die. He is in trouble, his desires thwarted, but I realize that I need him around to cause more mayhem. I have a feeling he will show up and be a significant player in book 3 of the series.

So I’m left with this unplanned death and still debating whether it’s truly necessary. You would think I’d have a firm enough grasp on the plot to feel confident that listening to this particular evil muse is the right thing to do. Can you hear the questions? What options do I have:

  • Keep him alive and have a “we’re-1-big-happy-family” or HEA (happily ever after)?
  • Keep him alive and maintain the conflict that has developed in the latter half of the story that could easily continue into book 3?
  • Keep him dead, maintaining the inner conflict of the character who feels responsible for the death?

Decisions, decisions…

In the meantime, Robin and Stephan are off on a secret mission. I can’t tell you where Sir Stephan is – you know that saying, “If I tell you, I’ll have to…” Right. That one. But for the last 3 days, I’ve been working on a scene where Robin and his men are discovered in Hull whilst under orders from Queen Eleanor. The rendezvous there may turn deadly.

I am closing in on the end of the book. I have a skimpy outline for 6 more chapters, though one will be the siege of Nottingham, which might easily be drawn out over 2 or more chapters. When will this rough draft be done? Your guess is as good as mine!


¹ That’s a story for another day. I get shaky just thinking about it. Repeat after me: “Back up faithfully to multiple devices and the Cloud.”

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