Killing time

I finally finished another short today, and while it needs work I think it’s looking okay.

While writing though, it occurred to me that I have a tendency to really slow down the speed of writing when it comes to killing someone. I mean, I never shy away from it, I’ve killed lots of characters in novels and short stories alike, but sometimes it just seems to take longer and I then worry that I’m over-thinking the process instead of just diving right in like the characters who are committing the crime are doing.

Does my slowing up slow down the pace of the scene? Does it detract from the moment? I’m not sure yet, though when I get a chance to go back and read through I am sure it will become clear. I might have to take a deeper look and see whether the murders that rolled out smoothly are any better written than the ones that take a little time. It could just be down to different characters having different needs/wants.

What about you? When it comes to killing time (if indeed, you kill off characters) how do you do it? Fast, slow? Do you linger over some of them, wondering whether you’ve got it right? Or line them up and knock them down quick smart?


8 thoughts on “Killing time”

  1. I tend to be writing very quickly when characters die but that’s usually because it happens in the middle of an action sequence that is unfolding in my head and I’m scrambling to get it down. I do linger when editing the scene.
    Scenes that really slow me down are ones where the character is trying to put things together because I start second guessing all the clues and leads I’ve inserted into the story and end up re-reading half the draft before I manage to finish the scene.
    Good question.

    1. I haven’t edited many of the character killings yet, though I sometimes think that the ones my characters have planned in advance, thought about for a long time, I tend to linger on a little longer – as if I want to get it right first time around, for their sake.
      Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

  2. I have only really murdered one of my characters, most die in battle!

    The murder itself was torturous, the evil character tortured and killed his annoying servant, and he wanted her to feel the pain. So it was kind of slow, but when I initially wrote it, it happened fast. A little editing made it more what it was supposed to be.

  3. I’ve only written two works in which people die – neither of which have I published. It was always the same – so quick that they never saw it coming. Naturally no one dies in my comedy. Correction – I’ve just recalled a scene where a bunch of nudists are eaten by a rabbit. But other than that…

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