Friday, 28 February 2014

#OBRT #Historical #Mystery - Guest Post - Killing Your Darlings by Yves Fey @YvesFey

Killing your darlings is a phrase you see used to recommend you kill off your favorite bits of prose.  The idea is that if they are too precious, too treasured, it will show and distract from your story rather than adding to it, or that they may be doted on by you for good reason, but add nothing.  For darlings of this nature, I can only hope you don’t have to slay them, because they are perfectly attuned both to their place in your story and to your style.  One would not want Raymond Chandler to remove the tarantula from the piece of angel food cake.
I’m talking about killing even more precious darlings, your favorite characters.  I’m talking about it for a couple of reasons.  First because I’ll be killing off a character I like quite a bit in my next book, and because it’s rather painful, I’m looking at the map of the moment for my series, and wondering if I need do it again.  Need in my case because my series is quite dark, and if I guard my loved ones too closely, it is likely to lose reality for the reader.  I have about five books planned in all, with possibilities to branch out beyond that.  The number is small enough that I may only have to sacrifice the one darling.  But if I were writing a longer series, I believe something dire would have to happen to someone of import.

The second reason plays into and off of the first, as I’m about two thirds of the way through Elizabeth George’s latest mystery, Just One Evil Act, and things are looking very dire indeed for a couple of favorites, and if she carries through with the darkest possibilities, the repercussions will ripple outward to yet more beloved characters.  And, because she has been ruthless in the past, I know these darlings are not safe.  Perhaps they will not die.  Perhaps they will not be ruined.  Perhaps they will, and I’m filled with dread and fascination about where she will take the story.  The emotional risk is far more riveting than any car chase or barroom brawl could be.

In one of my all-time favorite historical series, The Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett was also absolute ruthless in killing off favorite characters.  I was often devastated at the loss, but I admired and respected her as a writer for doing it, because it gave the books more emotional power.  Blake’s 7, a very dark British Sci Fi TV series leaps from superb dramatic space opera to stunning tragedy in its last episode as the darlings fall dead.  I think about amazing show too, though I know I don’t want a tragic outcome for my series.

If you are writing genre romance, or writing a cozy, you won’t want a tragic or unhappy outcome.  You probably won’t want to kill off a sympathetic character.  Your reader wants to remain safe from emotional bruising.  But even a small step into the darker realms of those or related genres, romantic suspense, say, or any mystery series beyond the light classic, should lead the writer to question if killing off a darling might give greater power and reality to their book.

Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill. When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. 
Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass. Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children. Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.
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Genre – Historical Mystery
Rating – R
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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