This is not a Negan death prediction

There are dozens of death predictions out there. Some are quite detailed. Some fans are claiming “proof”. This is neither a prediction or proclamation of proof, this is what I would do as a writer if the script for episode 1, season 7 were in my hands. Spoilers might exist if you haven’t read the comics.

So before I outline my scene, here are some factors I would consider.

Firstly, I wouldn’t have Negan kill a woman. It would make Negan a completely different character to the comics. It would significantly alter one of the most iconic villains of all time. As a writer, I wouldn’t take that chance. Kirkman got that villain perfect. When writing an adaptation I wouldn’t mess with that in my script.

Secondly, the only reason (again I’m talking as a writer) I would end on a cliff-hanger as seemingly poorly written as that is if there were a solid reason in the story-telling. Yes, $ are a reason, but as a writer, I think there could be better reasons.

Thirdly, even though the producers have stated they were always going to switch things up, the plan was to stick to the general story arc of the comics. Maggie really needs a significant death to drive her character arc forward and drive a wedge between her and Rick. As a writer trying to adapt the comics, I can’t see how that could be anything other than Glen’s death. Yes as a writer I could kill Glen later, but I believe he deserves an iconic death.

Lastly, doing it exactly the same as the comics is too predictable and has potential to disappoint. As a writer, I would switch things up a little bit.

So given the hype of the finale, my script would open up on a smashed head. No I wouldn’t show the beating on screen (yet). And the character I would kill would be Aaron or Eugene. Given the farewell scenes with Eugene were so in-your-face obvious, I’d probably opt for Aaron.

The viewer reaction would either be disappointment that such an iconic death was wasted and they didn’t get to see it, or relief that a major character wasn’t killed.

But straight afterwards when all the other characters think they’re safe, I’d have Maggie crumple over in pain, possibly showing some blood. Glen would rush over. He already tried it once. Negan said that one was free. There is no way Negan would let Glen get away with that again. Then Glen would get the real Lucilling. I would show it on screen and Glen would finally have used up his nine lives.

The death of a minor character first would justify the “cliff-hanger”. Showing the death of a minor character in the season finale would’ve been anticlimactic, killing off both with character reactions in the finale would’ve taken too long. Killing Glen will drive Maggie’s character arc, but it also varies it enough to surprise the comic book fans.

The rest of the episode would focus on getting Maggie to the Hilltop and learning the fate of whether we had indeed just lost a third person. I’d end my script on a sign of hope e.g. a signs of life during an ultrasound.

The rest of the episode would be dedicated to getting Carol and Morgan to the Kingdom, and yes I would write in a tiger and let the producers work out the logistics of that one.

Again, this isn’t a prediction, this is what I would do if I were writing the Walking Dead’s script. Hey, I can dream can’t I?

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Beware of the writers’ wrath

This week, I saw someone trolling a writing site masquerading as an author. They later revealed they were a psychology student conducting social experiments. I’ve heard of this kind of thing happening on social networking sites, where students pose fake questions or situations and see what people’s responses are, but not on professional writing sites.

Writers tend to share information with each other because we’re in the business of writing about character’s (and hence people’s) motivations, desires and reactions to different situations.

While this event didn’t affect me directly, this trolling still disgusts me. My next work in progress may just include an antagonist who is a psychology student that becomes infected by an alien parasite, turns into a grotesque creature and causes havoc on the city streets.

To any internet trolls lurking on writing forums, go infect the social playground that is Facebook and leave professional sites alone.  Writers aren’t the kind of people you want to mess with.

NaNoWriMo procrastination: thoughts on killing off characters

November madness has encroached upon my blog writing time with the start of NaNoWriMo and my race to write 50K in a month. However, the last few days I stumbled upon a roadblock when I realised the character’s deaths I had planned wouldn’t work. I had plotted my character’s deaths perfectly except when the time came for my first character to die she just wouldn’t do it. She threatened me with her spear and insisted her character arc wasn’t complete. Stubborn bitch just won’t do what she’s told.

After starting to write my novel I’ve also worked in ways to show the threat of the world I’ve created without killing off so many characters. So I’ve been spending the past few days reworking my outline and reconsidering my character deaths and it got me thinking about the character death’s in stories that I love and hate. Here are a few that have resonated with me (warning may be spoilers).

Star Wars
In the original Star Wars, Obi-wan and Darth Vader were perfect  examples of meaningful and symbolic deaths that were essential to the plot.

As for Star Wars I –III, Meesa thinks a few characters could’ve said good bye. You bought the rights Disney, now do your job.

Serenity
I have many friends who lamented the death of Wash and some who were even angry at Josh Weddon for killing him off because Wash was the most loveable character. I also hated this death, not because Wash was likable, but because I felt Zoe’s reaction was the total opposite of what it should have been. In the series, the only thing that ever threatened to break her tough persona was when Wash was in danger. Wash’s death wouldn’t have made her tough and determined, it would have made her an emotional wreck. Everyone has a breaking point and I have no doubt that Wash was hers.

Game of Thrones
Ned Starks death was executed (excuse the pun) perfectly.  Not only did the unexpectedness of it work, but also the loss of knowledge that occurred when he died and how this completely changed the direction of the plot. Also Ned didn’t really have a role in the story anymore and Jon Snow began to take on the story’s theme of honour and loyalty. As for the rest of the series… All the deaths have lost their impact as there is a chance George may bring them back to life again. And for the reasons above, the end of A Dance with Dragons just pissed me off. It’s almost enough for me to put down the series. Okay, not really. I’m still hanging out for The Winds of Winter. Hurry up George. Who am I to talk? I can’t even write a 50K word draft in a month. It’d probably take me several years to finish a book that large and complex too.

Anyway, that’s enough procrastination, back to my novel. Now I’ve reworked my plot, my characters will probably act like lemmings and all want to jump off a cliff.

What character’s deaths have inspired you or pissed you off?

Social networking: an author’s best friend or evil distraction?

Wikis, writing forums, weblogs, microblogs, Facebook, Reddit, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace…the list of social networking platforms is endless.

As a self-confessed luddite, I have enough difficulty understanding what these things are let alone having a presence across all of  them. But everywhere I turn there is an agent, publisher or professional author reaffirming that it is a “necessity” for writers. Only the other day, an author was telling me (via a social media site no less) that a clause in her book contract stipulated she had Facebook, Twitter and weblog accounts.

Even though I have an author page on Facebook, I hate wading through some of the tripe that people regurgitate. Does anyone really care that their friend took a photo of their breakfast, found a video of a cute animal or rounded up twenty sheep on FarmVille?

And as for Twitter…
Even if I had a mobile phone (did I mention I was a luddite?), I’m not sure I could stomach microblogging. I have little interest in joining the denizens of Twitter-land who seem to deny the existence of punctuation, complete sentences and sometimes even real words. LOL  ; )

Oh, I long for the days when a semi-colon was a punctuation mark for linking clauses, rather than a pair of evil eyes winking at me.

As arrogant as it sounds, I blog because I’m proud of my publications and want people to read my stories. But at the same time, every time I post about my writing it feels like I’m standing on a roof top and shouting to the world ‘look at me, look at me’.

Especially in the wake of the recent cyber bullying of TV personality, Charlotte Dawson, I do worry about having a presence online. In real life, I live in a secluded valley in an undisclosed location emerging for sunshine as frequently as a sparkling vampire, but online I am everywhere for everyone and anyone to see and scrutinise.

I can see the benefit of spreading the word of publications as wide as possible, but some research suggests social media doesn’t equate to sales. I also don’t understand how people can contribute to all these social media outlets on a regular basis and still find time for their works in progress. I’ve found some articles that suggest if you use social media as much as the “experts” suggest you’d have almost no time to write.

So what are your thoughts: a necessity or distraction?

Either way, I guess I’ll continue to write pointless babble and pimp my stories.

So that was my pointless babble for the day and here is the pimping bit.
My flash fiction ‘Third time’s a charm’ is currently online at Daily Science Fiction ; )

P.S. I almost forgot the pictures of adorable animals. Well, here’s something for the 38 million people who “like” FarmVille.

Character coming to life

I’ve often heard professional authors comment on how their characters end up taking on a life of their own and end up acting autonomously, but I’ve never really believed it until now.

With my NiP (novel in progress) I really wanted to avoid cussing as I’m not one to swear in real life, but my character, Walter, won’t let me cut out the swear words.

I had a long heated argument with him the other day where he told me in no uncertain terms that I was a bloody effing muppet for trying to make him censor his language. I told him he could try punching the table or slamming his fist into the wall instead of cursing, except he yelled back at me that if he did that he’d hurt his hand and effing swear his head off. Needless to say, I didn’t win that argument and he’s been effing and shitting all over my novel ever since.

Once he started talking to me, he just wouldn’t relent and now all I hear every time I write a scene with him it in, is ‘Bloody heck, woman. Is that really what you think I’d do in that situation?’ I could just kill him off and that would shut him up and stop him cursing at me, but them my plot wouldn’t work as well