So I've been in novel-centered mourning for about four days now, and I think I can begin to talk about the reason.
First of all, I might be seeming dramatic, but I was seriously affected by what went on in my final hour of NaNoWriMo (which was actually about 6 pm, but I had a class and then rehearsal, and so wouldn't return until almost midnight- not enough time to finish AND win.)
I was typing away like a madwoman, sometimes turning to Write or Die to kick my butt. Usually WoD is the thing that forces unexpected (and usually unwanted) twists into my books, but it wasn't the culprit this time- it was all me.
I had no idea how to end the book. No clue. I actually had a couple of ideas in mind, one that involved a sequel. And, in fact, I had already written the cliffhanger ending the night before. But as I looked back over it, I realised that it was really incomplete and kind of pathetic. I decided to see where it would go if I took it further because, as much as I like the characters and the story, I didn't have enough ammo for a sequel. So I just started writing.
And then Lyddie died.
Yeah. SHE DIED. Worse, she was KILLED. About a minute after her aunt was killed. And another minute before the next member of her family would be killed.
This was COMPLETELY unplanned. Even though I had no idea what the end was going to be, Lyddie was always alive at the end of it. At that point, I felt like I was just watching my fingers type these horrible words. I wanted to undo it all... especially the way it happened. I just wrote that method of killing, not knowing how it actually affected someone's body and mind and then, and then after I had won, I was doing some research on the method and found out that I was pretty much right. How did I know that? I don't look up killing methods in my spare time.
But anyway. The thing I'm realising is that it fits. It really fits. It's sudden and shocking and tragic, but it works. It's not overdramatic. And I think the best part is that, because I didn't know what was going to happen, I didn't write in that direction. I think that if I had planned it, I would have written some scenes with the attitude that she was going to die. I would have tried to put some extra superfluous meaning into things. But because I didn't, it's even more tragic.
So while I've almost cried a couple of times because she's gone, I also don't think I'm changing it.