I’d be the first to say that sometimes when you write, things can get away from you. Some writers talk about how a character acts autonomously, or how the events that happen on the page divert wildly from what they first imagined. It seems strange to others since writing appears to be a conscious act, but for some the subconscious interjects with its take, unable to be wrangled.
OR ARE THEY?
First up, the above is totally a thing. It doesn’t happen for everybody, but it’s happened for me and I know it’s happened for others, so stop pretending this is bullshit. It’s not. It’s real. It’s dreaming while awake, or distracting half your brain with the process of writing so the other two-quarters can jump out SURPRISE THE BLOODY ROBOT SHOOTS THE KID!
I’m not here to debate that. No, this is all about Poorly or Otherwise, topical thoughts, doing better, and all sorts of other things.
Short summary of the above: A supplementary character who was meant to become quite pivotal or influential in imagined sequels, dies. It was a big shock to me when I wrote it, but it felt like some immutable truth. It made me really upset to have that character die, but the feeling of being utterly blindsided by the events I my actual self was writing probably gave that passage more weight in terms of personal canonity (and since it’s my own damned universe, literary canonity as it pertains to the world in the story).
But that’s not true. Not even remotely.
I’ve contemplated changing so much of what I penned in that very first draft, and never once have I felt as though the essence of the story was lost by doing so. What rot is that? And while I can honestly say that I didn’t set out to cause distress (though yes, I have on the record said that if you’re not making your readers cry, why are you writing), neither did I think beyond what my own little throw into the font of fiction was.
There were other things with this character that I didn’t intend. She was always meant to be a foil to my main character, not in a catty way, but as someone that could call the main character on her shit and not become such a big part of it all.
I didn’t intend for these two women to bond. I definitely didn’t intend for them to do so with even an inkling of either potentially dying. The main character’s life was always about her family. About her sister. That was where the torment was meant to be. Not with the other character.
In light of some recent bits in pop culture which are not so much recent, but recurring trends/tropes that happen over and over, I’m going to change that character’s fate. It might seem spurious to change it like this, but I can think of a few reasons to. I can think of 100.