Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting away with it

As I'm struggling through the final scenes of the 'Brake Fluid' first draft, a thought has occurred to me.

Do you guys (as readers) want the two main characters to get away with it?

The 'it' of course being, the stealthy disposal of Jackson's body.

And I suppose I'm putting this out to any followers who have read chunks of the story, or those who have read the *blurb* on my 'what I'm writing' page.

The line that put this thought into my brain is this:

So what happens when everyone’s at fault, but no one’s at fault?

The ending for this story was always very clear in my mind (which is unusual), but I think that's 'cause I recognized Jackson's death for what it is. A catalyst. But at the same time, it's the end result of another catalyst: the original bet at the party six months earlier.

Sure, half the plot is the slow reveal of what actually happened on those two past nights, but the other half of the story is the journey to dispose of the body.

It's essentially an exercise in dealing with consequences and guilt, not just for Triss & the MC, but everyone involved, including Jackson.

Hence that particular line about 'fault'.

I think this is a particularly tricky question when we're talking about YA.

'Cause when I think back to what I was like at that age... I was involved in a hell-of-a-lot of stupid stuff. Some I got caught for, and some I still feel guilty about even now. Consequences and guilt were things I thought about a lot at that age, not only in weighing choices, but in figuring the angles on how to get out of potential trouble depending on which path I took.

You can rationalize a lot with only a split second to think.

Which is why when I was writing this story, I wanted to muddy up the reader's desires... to make it difficult to say for sure whether Triss & the MC should get caught, or get away with it.

Can you think of any books where you've equally wanted the main character to 'get away with it', yet also want them to get caught and punished?

How much emphasis (or thought) do you put into the consequences/guilt of a character's choices?


  1. short answer - yes, get away with it.

    But in YA I don't know how much preaching is involved in the genre

    And if they get away with it--someone would have to find the body eventually

    or of course there is the ambiguous ending where the reader does not know
    I know you won't go for that

    did you get the answer to the state of his body??

    and I still want to be a beta reader please, you'll get a different perspective from me but I am sure it will be useful

    1. Hahaha, yup, my writing buddy certainly had the answer, and it was 100% in-line with what my brain told me was logical while I was writing, so SCORE! No re-writing!

      Yup, sure, you can be a beta-reader. I know I've been asked by a bunch of people, so I'll probably post when I'm done my first round of editing and ask all those who are interested to contact me.

      ...and the more differing opinions, the better!

  2. I think they should get away with it. They then spend the rest of their lives with the guilt slowly eating away at them. I think that may be punishment enough.

    1. I'm hoping the *eternal-guilt* over the situation is somewhat implied...

      But I suppose I shouldn't give away the ending here, though I suspect it may be different that what people might imagine

      which could be good or bad :D


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)