Wednesday Writing — Ending Characters

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

It Isn’t Black and White

Welcome to my sanctuary, everyone. Sit back and get comfortable.  I’m feeling a little off kilter, but not bad. Maybe that’s because I was thinking about “black and white” and all the gray areas that surround it. (That’s odd, considering how much a physically need color around me.)  The slide show above includes some of the black and white images I made for the interior of various “Journeys” in Dead of Winter.  Some of the characters in that epic fantasy are gray… certainly not heroes, and yet not all together evil.

Often ending a character isn’t black and white either.  Maybe I’m just shallow, or maybe it’s because my life’s history, but I don’t like it when characters die in TV shows, movies, or in books.  I rarely “kill off” any character in my stories, good or evil.  However, as I wrote Dead of Winter, I saw that necessity for one particular character.  It wasn’t for drama, or for any “literary” purpose.  Now, ten years later, I still can’t describe how, but I knew it was necessary. 

This wasn’t one of my favorite characters, so I have no idea why it hit me so hard.  It just did.  I sat and cried the whole time I wrote the scene.  I blubbered half the day after, and then again every time I went back to edit it.  Like I said, I don’t know why.

Dead of Winter 10 Characters promo by Teagan R. Geneviene
Teagan R. Geneviene

That scene transpires in Journey 10, Pergesca.  I’m pleased that it is being well received.  Early reviews from D.L. Finn and Priscilla Bettis have thrilled me.  You can see them here at Amazon.

Basically “we are what we are” when it comes to characters dying in stories.  However, I am more interested to know how you feel about “gray” characters. How ambiguous can they be without fully becoming a bad guy?  Do they add a bit of intrigue?  Or are you someone who likes sharply defined black and white?  One mindset is not better or worse than the other.  I’m simply curious to know what you think.

In other news,  author Teri Polen’s yearly October festival of horror and suspense is still going strong.  Click over to “Bad Moon Rising” for a fun interview with a different author every day of this month!  I’ll be there on October 29.

I love to hear from you, so friendly comments are encouraged. Thanks for spending part of your day here.  Hugs on the wing!

Dead of Winter — All the Journeys

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 10, Pergesca

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09J6TH8TD

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09J7GFWYV

Journey 9, Doors of Attunement

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09F8Y5DML

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09F1BB9RW

Journey 8, The Lost Library

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

Journey 7, Revenant Pass

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Kindle:  relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Paperback: relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2010 and 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 


65 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing — Ending Characters

  1. I vote for gray interspersed with black and white characters. To me it very much reflects the true human condition between all of us. Any of us can be black and white around certain situations or beliefs and yet gray on other things….just my thoughts!! I’m on 9!!!!! Loving it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If characters reflect real life, which I think is a good idea, then few if any are all black or white/ good or evil. Still, most people lean one way or the other – mostly good, but with definite flaws or mostly bad with a redeeming quality or two. You do a great job with your characters. I don’t want the series to end, so I’m slowing down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that feedback, JoAnna. That means a lot to me.
      I feel like I’ve slowed down with them, although not intentionally. I’d like to do a sequel, or rather a prequel, from Tajin’s part of the world. Although I’m not completely sure what form it could take — because I’m not comfortable writing from a male point of view.
      Emlyn’s story goes on as long as she is in your memory. 🙂 Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s true. LOL… now you have my head spinning in a different direction. The story I’ve always wanted to do would be about Tajin’s part of the world (which is not explored in Dead of Winter). Yes, there are endless story possibilities for the Deae Matres. 🙂 ❤

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Michael. I try to write things I would want to read, rather than things my English/literature teachers (or famous critics if I could ever be that well-known) would say was “good.” I’m very happy you enjoy it. Stay safe and well. Big hugs winging back to you. ❤

      Like

  3. The black and white slide show is fabulous!
    It’s a perfect pre – Hallowe’en feel, and explains something about you, and this tale.
    You are incredibly close to your characters. Otherwise when you killed one off, you wouldn’t cry.
    Having said that, I understand how attached we become to our creations, of all sorts.
    Will check out Teri Polen’s blog now!
    HUGS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deaths of characters are so hard. I hated when one died in WWl in one of my books, but it had to be there because that’s what happens in a war. When your character died it equally made sense to the story it happened that way. Sometimes they decide for us, but made it all the better even if we had to shed some tears. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having just finished Journey 10, I am pleased to hear that this was the character that you killed off. I was afraid it might be another whose passing would have saddened me more than the one who died. I thought within the tale’s context that it worked very well. I was also pleased to see this character redeemed before passing. Gray characters are interesting and more like us than most of us care to admit (at least in public). Keep up the good work. My only disappointment is that this Journey was shorter than the others to date. Now on to November and Journey 11. 😉 Also looking to see what will spook Fang/Pinkerton next.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not a fan of killing off characters either, but sometimes it is necessary. I like grey characters as like is not just black and white and most people have a bit of each in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sometimes I’m rooting for a character…usually a very bad person to get killed off, but other times when a character is killed off I’m shocked, very sad, or even mad.
    It’s interesting how emotionally attached one can get to characters isn’t it.

    The slide show was neat. I loved the eye, and lurched backward when the dog/wolf appeared in there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Deborah.
      LOL, on TV shows, sometimes I start rooting for particularly irritating characters to get killed off. o_O
      Working with that eye was fun. Oh, that one is a wolf. He’s quite mysterious through at least half of the series before we learn exactly what he is. I worked on the image to transform his open mouth into a snarl. LOL, he apologizes and hopes he didn’t cause you to spill your coffee. 😉
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

                1. Kamal, images have provided me great story inspiration over the years. Whether for a new story of for a detail of one that is in progress. You might find an interior image you like, or just a random one, and let it inspire a room in your character’s home. I just now did a Google image search for “cozy bedroom” and got back dozens of interesting scenes. It’s just an exercise. Cheers.
                  https://www.google.com/search?q=cozy+bedroom&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS759US759&sxsrf=AOaemvIhOpfwFGwyNggfwnb_bO4y37_M6g:1634757459537&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiJja2N2tnzAhU8mGoFHQFXAzoQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1067&bih=526&dpr=1.5

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  8. I have done a few gray characters. The problem with them is they tend to be a little bland and not much fun to write. I always cry when a character dies. (notice I didn’t say ‘when I kill them.’ I always believe when their time has come it is out of my hands.)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I prefer my characters gray. No one’s purely good or evil. There are always shades. That’s where the interesting bits come into play.

    The fact that you cried at the death of a lesser character just speaks to the depth of how well you develop your cast. And that’s great. Kudos to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Noelle. I guess it’s all in the type of stories we want to tell. But I understand what you mean.
      I had similar advice, but a different context, when I would edit executives ”Your words are not your babies. The message can be improved by these changes.” Hugs on the wing.

      Like

    1. Thanks for commenting, GP. Many people prefer black and white (and/or sepia) images. But I need and love color. However, for the inside of the book I use black and white. Those are some of my interior images. I use one at the beginning of each chapter.
      Have a wonderful rest of the week. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think people (real people) are black and white on the surface, but as we get to know them, there’s a lot of gray. I like it when I see that in characters, they seem more real to me. Of course, the more a character seems real to me, the less I want to see them killed. Sometimes it has to happen, but I hope it’s never someone I’m invested in, someone I’ve grown to see the gray in. That said, that’s also part of life so I don’t hold it against authors who kill off a character. I love the black and white images, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how much they add to your Journeys.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, I agree. Also, thanks for your feedback about the interior images. Ha, I guess the black and whites were a gray area for me, because I was never sure if they were good, bad, or neither. 😀
      Thanks for spending part of your day here. Good luck with the home improvement project, but don’t work too hard. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Just Olga and commented:
    Teagan Geneviene asks us what we think about “gray” characters and explains how she feels about those. Go and visit her post for some wonderful reviews of Journey 10 of Dead of Winter as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear Teagan: I’m a fan of characters who are not totally black or white (those might work well in some genres, but I find them, in general, a bit too formulaic and boring), and appreciate all the shades that make them more “human”. Sometimes it might be a matter of point of view as well or getting to know their motivations or backstories. I have just started reading Journey 9 and I’ll read Journey 10 afterwards, so I’ll soon find out. Can’t way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Olga, I remembered that you enjoy unreliable narrators and ambiguous characters. I love how you said that you “appreciate all the shades that make them more “human”. ” I think so too. I hope you are having a great time with Journey 9, and that you’ll love number ten as well. Big hugs!

      Like

  13. Hi Teagan, I enjoyed your black and white pictures. I really like the caravan and the way it stands out form the background, that is just as I imagine the grey of the World of the Dead in that scene which I assume is at Crannog. I also like the first one with Emlyn looking through the door. The ocean looks wonderful in black and white. I can see the glimmers on the water. Sometimes we have to look for the colour. I am also doing that right now. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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