To Kill or Not to Kill

First, my update: I hit 48,001 words last night. Things are going well, but it’s still looking like I won’t hit 60,000 words. That isn’t a problem, as my goal is simply to finish the story by the end of the month. The 60K number only served as a way for me to keep track on my little word count widget.

Now for the question of the day. Here’s an update of where my story is going right now. Lisa had her throat cut and Andy was abducted. Carter and Cailin went to rescue him and got caught themselves. The killer (Matt) was called back to the camp to help look for them, leaving them drained of energy and tied up in various places around his cabin.

Lisa’s healing power brought her back to life and she contacted Andy telepathically. She conferenced in Carter and Cailin so they could make plans, and the intimate connection with the others caused Andy to have an epiphany about himself. It also triggered another power, that of being able to borrow the powers of his friends. Using Carter’s strength and Cailin’s energy, he freed himself and then the others. He then channeled Cailin’s energy into Carter to restore him to full strength.

The next step is to pick up Lisa and figure out what to do about Matt. That is where the question of the day comes in. Should they kill him? Or should they try to capture him?

If they capture him, they would have to use their abilities to do so, and then they would run the risk of having him expose their powers to the world. There is also a chance that he would be able to escape, and considering his own powers of illusion and energy drain, that chance becomes almost a sure thing. It would take a pretty special jail to keep him locked up. And what do you think would happen after he got out? He would go directly for the kids that put him away.

If they kill him, they will have removed a terrible person from society. They will avenge the deaths of dozens of his victims and prevent him from future atrocities. And they wouldn’t have to live in constant fear that he would escape. The story would be over.

There’s a significant moral issue at stake here as well. Killing someone isn’t something most people can do lightly, no matter how desensitized our society has become with movies and video games so focused on death and violence. If they kill him, they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. Does killing him make them like him? How can they cross that line and still remain good people?

This is my dilemma. It isn’t something that will stop me from writing, as I can simply keep going by exploring the question through the kids. Even if I don’t know what to do, ultimately, it will be up to them. All I need to do is let them hash it out for themselves and tell me what they decide.

So that’s the plan. Now let’s see how well it works out. Check back on Sunday and we’ll see where we are.

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2 Comments

Filed under ROW80, The Writing Experience

2 responses to “To Kill or Not to Kill

  1. Sounds like things are coming together. Good luck with figuring out the decision on killing Matt. Your characters sound much like mine. When things aren’t going clearly for me, I just sit back and write what they tell me, and things (normally) turn out fine.

  2. Cate Russell-Cole

    Can they capture then convert him? If they have any kinds of powers of positive persuasion, you could have a great turning point moment where he comes around to being a force for good… but that question of whether it was a true conversion could always be left a little in the balance. Was it genuine? Will it be a threat later? I don’t know. I hope this helps.

    Congratulations on the word count. Thinking through story issues like these matters as much as words, as far as I am concerned anyway. I think a great percentage of a writer’s time has to be spent thinking.

    Cheers, Cate (ROW80)

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