While you’re killing people. . .


Dunkin Donuts coffee has crack in it. There’s no other rational explanation for its addictive properties. Yet, I digress.

I’m finding the most interesting time with writing the demise of a character in “The Revelation Gate,” which I’m believing I will finish by December. Originally, the ground swallowed him whole (it’s more supernatural and fantastical than “The Lost Testament”). I know, how convenient! So now, he lives, which means I need to rewrite about 130 pages that have him absent. Ultimately, it will result in a better, more believable book. But right now, it sucks.

I faced a similar problem with the original draft of “The Lost Testament.” Originally, the villain was not Geary, but Darrion’s birth father, who I named Warren. He was a white man who had fallen in love with the granddaughter of one of his father’s slaves (Kelley) and taken Darrion away for spite. He told Kelley that Darrion was dead, but raised him as a white man in New York. So, when Darrion found the Lost Testament (in that incarnation, he discovered it on a trip to the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found), he left New York because Warren, who was a deacon in the church Darrion pastored, was after The Lost Testament.

Two revisions ago, I realized he had to die. He just wasn’t a believable character to me. Enter Violet October. Exit Warren McClain.

The problem with deaths is, if you kill someone off in page 15 and you’re revising, you have to make sure there’s no mention of him in page 215. That’s not always as obvious as it seems and, as a matter of fact, a mention of Warren made it all the way to the draft before my proof, past me and my editor. It’s something to keep in mind while you’re killing people.

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