The Romantic on The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Sacrificial Lamb

I had to kill him.......OFF!

It was necessary, because he wasn't necessary. After having beta-readers read my manuscript and offer their feedback, it became evident that one character in my novel was merely just along for the ride. Ultimately I arrived at the realization that he -like many of the nameless faces throughout the course of human history- did nothing to enrich the story, to leave his indelible mark and became unforgettable.

This didn't make him any less important, because a person who lives a short life is still capable of doing important deeds. Although I had originally envisioned him to play a role in my story akin to C-3PO or Peregin "Pippin" Took, as the twists and turns burrowed deeper into the legend of my novel like a river cutting through the terrain of the earth, he became more obsolete and needed to be eliminated.

Characters, like the story itself, have this uncanny ability to "come to life" for a writer, and impose their will. Wodinaz the Wizard, Inanna and Dumuzi -the parents of Alulim, Manu and Aya the Immortals all flourished and BECAME real, they all took action and became essential by shaping the course of events that unfolded in Ancient Sumer, circa 2300B.C.E. however this other character, he never did that. I came to the realization that the story could be told without his presence, and as a result he had to die.

It wasn't that he lacked bravery or that he wasn't noble, because when the moment came and it was imperative for the sake of Inanna's safety, he took action and made a decision to die a warrior's death. In that regard, he made a valuable contribution to the legend, but that is where his role in the script of destiny came to an abrupt end.

And to quote Hector when he prepared to do battle with Achilles at the gates of Troy, remarking on the fallen cousin of the legendary warrior's cousin, Patroclus: "I gave the dead boy the honor he deserved."

And to quote Achilles in response, "You have him the honor of your sword!"

Yes, I gave this one character the honor of a warrior's sword, but at least he went down fighting.

To quote one of the greatest warriors of legend once more, I recall a scene from the epic war film Troy when Achilles was summoned to fight Boagrius, when a boy spoke with Achilles about the Thessalonian warrior:

"The Thessalonian you're fighting, he's the biggest man I've ever seen...I wouldn't want to fight him."

Achilles turned to the boy and said, "That's why no one will remember your name."

Perhaps the character in my story will be forgotten, lost like a scent in the breeze of time, and as my series develops into the 20 books that I'm currently projecting, his actions may be eclipsed by grander deeds, but at least he will not be remembered as a coward. Someday, I hope, that they will reflect upon his one decisive moment, the moment that defined his presence in my novel -however short-lived it was- and realize that his sacrifice allowed for the story to continue and for destiny to be fulfilled.

"They never fail who die in a great cause."
~George Gordon Byron

No comments:

Post a Comment