Hello again, it’s been a while since I formally welcomed you to a blog post. It’s good to have you back. I hope you enjoy this post.
Back to writing, because frankly I need inspiration. The topic I chose for this post is extremely general, that means it is open to an extensive interpretation and a plethora of tangents. I chose a very general topic because I didn’t have a set plan for this post; I have several things about which I wanted to talk, but I didn’t have a specific goal in mind. This post will be seeking its own inspiration as well as hopefully providing some for myself and you.
Every life has value
I know the question of life is a hot topic at least in the United States with the subject of abortion, however let’s bring this to bear more on writing. We’ve all read a book of some kind at some point in our lives where a character is killed off and we just stare thinking, “why did they do that?”. Sometimes you just have to wonder why an author would kill off a completely meaningless character for absolutely no reason whatsoever. If you’ve ever read a book with that element employed you can be fairly sure the author has no concept of the value of life.
For a character’s death to be significant in any way, that character must be established or at the very least related to the reader in some way that makes them significant. The only real exception to this would be if you’re writing a book about a murderer, serial killer, or gun-for-hire whose targets only serve to add to his kill count. Outside of that very specific character type a writer should never kill off any character that they take the time to tell you the name of. If the reader knows anything at all about the character, then before you kill that character he/she needs to be given some kind of value in the story.
Every life has value and every life needs an ending.
Not to say every character needs to be killed off in your story, but every character needs some resolve. It is ridiculous, it is distracting, and it is without reason to have characters make appearances in the story who are not relevant in any way. If the writer goes to the trouble of introducing him to the reader yet that character makes no significant appearance or has any weight or bearing on the story, the writer can then be relegated to amateur if not novice. Every life needs to have an ending or result. Otherwise, if I were to introduce a character to a reader who had no bearing on the story I would not only be confusing the reader but wasting their time and precious words in my story that could be used for a greater purpose.
Every life is a real life.
We need to realize this. Every life and of story needs to be a real life outside of a story. Not to say that we need to mimic the lives of others, and that every story we do needs to be nonfiction or at least have its roots in nonfiction; every great story reflect the lives of characters who live outside the story as much as in. All of these characters have pre-existing histories, and their lives extend to beyond the story. Just as it happens in real life, if I was to tell you a story about how I went to the store to get a gallon of milk, If that was the only part of my life that I ever told you about, that story may be contained in and of itself, all the characters would be in play, everything would make sense, but my life is not confined to that story. I exist outside of that story, which is what makes the story believable and realistic.
Unless every character in your story lives in real life, there’s really no purpose in killing them to begin with, but also there is no purpose in including them in your story. It is impossible to relate a character to a real life person if that character is not them self a real life person. It would be the difference between writing about a human being and a manikin. Manikins are relatable to humans, they bear some strong similarities to humans, they wear clothes, they have somewhat of the same features, but they are inanimate, they’re made of different materials, they don’t live lives.
Every life, fiction or nonfiction deserves to be lived.
Noticed that I didn’t say every life has the right to be lived. Every life deserves to be lived; that doesn’t mean everyone is going to let that life be lived. Even after a person is born, if they can make it that far, there are people who will attempt to destroy that life. Maybe not kill it, but put boundaries on it, restrictions on it, confined it, and boundaries and restrictions are good to a point, but if they stifle that person’s existence, if they inhibit that person from pursuing and fulfilling their God-given ability to live their life, then those boundaries and restrictions art of God and should be removed. Every life has the right to be lived, but not every person is worthy to live their own lives.
You’ll hear people all the time crying “we have the right to this”, “we are entitled to this”, but nobody ever thinks that they may have forfeited their rights and entitlements by their protests. Most protesters are respected, informal protests, or rather riots: simply adults doing what toddlers have taught them to do. If you don’t get your way, throw a tantrum, it’s actions like this that deny people their right to live their own lives. Prisons were invented for people who did not have the ability to live their own lives. Their lives were a threat to others, their lives were not the lives they were meant to live. So rather than live their lives they were confined physically to a place where their lives, the lives they wanted to live will do the least amount of harm to everyone else.
Every life has value, every life needs an ending, every life is a real life, every life deserves to be lived, but not everyone deserves to live it.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist