I just realized how much I love the little boy I’m writing about in 1928. I feel like his mom or something. But there’s an unbearable poignancy to it. I’ve known this person for years, and some while ago I wrote about his death in the early 90s, when he was of a ripe old age and needed to be shuffled out of my master plot in favor of his successor.
I am holding his entire life between my hands. It’s an uneasy feeling.
I remember the first time I ever killed anybody. All I gave the reader–all Angie gave me–was a walk carrying groceries for a few blocks in Brooklyn. And yet her death–vital to the plot–hit me like a ton of bricks, and the majority of my beta readers got misdirected by my arty phrasing and didn’t realize the wench was DEAD, dead as a doornail not returning dead, because they didn’t want her to be.
But Angie is dead, except when I go back and re-read the first few pages of her story. Little Yin is dead now in 2020, and has been for a while. It just bothers me that when I killed him I didn’t even know his name.