If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you know last night was the season finale which came on the heels of last week’s shocking episode. For the record, I haven’t read the novels nor have I watched the television series. However, my husband is a rabid Game of Thrones fan. On the strength of the television series, he purchased the entire set of novels and recently started reading them.
The problem with watching the television adaption before reading the books is that he was just one of legions of fans whom I hear were shocked at what took place at a wedding scene last week. At the time my husband was watching last week’s episode, I was in my room working on my latest story. Despite being at opposite ends of the house, I could clearly hear his reaction to the scene, and when it was over, I got an earful about it. My husband asked me how a writer could do that to fans and kill characters they love. I laughed.
I can’t speak for all writers, but I hate to kill my characters. My characters are like my children. I created them and they have value to me. The one and only time I killed the love interest of the protagonist, which was the plan before I even began writing the story, I couldn’t stop crying. I cried so hard at Will’s death scene in Extraordinary Will that I swore I’d never kill another beloved character again. To date, I’ve made good on that promise to myself, but this whole thing has gotten me thinking.
One week later, Game of Thrones fans are still talking about the wedding episode. Videos have been circulated via social media showing the reactions of fans, like my poor husband, who hadn’t gotten that far in the books. The author has made media appearances addressing the readers’ reactions and what they mean to him.
Seeing all of this unfold put me in mind of the Harry Potter mania and made me wonder if I could be that good someday. As a writer, there’s no higher compliment than to have people so emotionally invested in your work and your characters that what you do to those characters evokes visceral reactions. I’d love to have this kind of reaction to my work and know that it means so much to people that they not only can’t stop talking about it but even go so far as to take it as a personal affront when I harm one of the characters.
While thinking about this, and hoping to one day achieve this level of success, I received a message from a young fan who’s read my Unholy Trinity series on Wattpad. Below is the message she sent me, which I didn’t alter in any way.
Trish, I want- no I need you to know how much I love the Unholy Trinity series. Me and my best friend are so obsessed. I have read all of it twice, and me and her will send quotes from the books. We wish so dearly all these characters were real. :D She called dibs on the twins while I called dibs on Simeon We are childish like that but I love all the characters so much, I never want the series to end but I know unfortunately it will. Thank you so much for writing this story because I can't live without it anymore. I re-read all of my favorite chapters so much. I can't express how much I need to thank you for writing this. I am completely and utterly in love with Simeon. Thank you for creating him. Thank you so much. Also I’m sorry if what I just wrote isn't perfect because English isn't my first language. Thanks again.
This message couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. It gives me hope that I’ve made the right decision to abandon traditional publishing methods in favor of making my work available electronically. More importantly, it gives me hope that the answer to the question is yes. Maybe I could be that good one day.