Guest Post: Killing Them Softly by Mara Valderran
**Today I’m turning my blog over to the amazing Mara Valderran, while I sit back with my feet up, wearing my fuzzy bunny slippers, and eating bon bons. Yup. That’s me all over. Enjoy!**
As a writer, one phrase you hear quite often is “Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings” and with some of us, we really aren’t. George RR Martin comes to mind, of course. Ever hear the one about George RR Martin, Steven Moffatt, and Joss Whedon? They walk into a room…
And then everyone you love dies.
It’s funny, and fitting for these three writers. One of the beautiful things about the Game of Thrones series is that George RR Martin is not afraid to kill off any character. Even his main characters. Even favorites. No one is safe, and that builds the suspense in ever situation. Most of the time, when you are reading a book, you might be scared for a character but in the back of your mind, you know they will probably be fine. After all, the Mockingjay can’t fly if Katniss bites it in book two, right?
As writers, we can’t be afraid to kill our darlings. Now, generally speaking, that phrase usually applies more to your words and scenes than characters. But with characters, it has to apply as well. We have to go where the story takes us. Sure, we’re in control ultimately, but a funny thing happens to me when I start trying to exert too much control over what happens. Everything starts to suck. No lie. Some of the worst parts of Heirs of War have been forced because the characters were going in a different direction than what I planned.
Know what I generally never have planned? Deaths.
Spoiler alert: People die in Heirs of War, Crown of Flames. And I didn’t see either one of them coming until right before. The second death, I had the hardest time with. I agonized over it and tried to figure out a way around it. I talked it over with my sister, my cousin, my friends–everyone who knew anything about my books. You’d think that they would have said “Noo! Don’t kill them!” but they didn’t. They could see why it needed to happen. Which is why you have them to thank for it. And this death has a really big impact, too. I hate killing my darlings. But it is so necessary sometimes. And sometimes you just can’t see anything else beyond a certain point for a character, and that’s how you know.
What do you think? Can you forgive authors for killing off your favorite characters if you know they were weeping at their keyboards instead of twisting their metaphorical villainous mustaches?
Now, follow this link to a Rafflecopter giveaway, and read below for more on Heirs of War and Mara Valderran.
ABOUT HEIRS OF WAR: The NA fantasy series Heirs of War has taken Wattpad by storm with over one million reads, and the second installment has arrived. Catch up on Heirs of War (#1) for just 99 cents now!
Heirs of War #1: When seventeen year-old Zelene finds herself thrust into a world of magic and prophecy, she discovers fighting destiny might not be the toughest battle she has to face. Now she must join with three other girls, complete strangers linked only by blood relation, to fight a war they know nothing of and rescue the twin sister she’s never met.
The adventure continues with Heirs of War, Crown of Flames…
Heirs of War, Crown of Flames Heirs of War #2
Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen’s dungeon, but danger isn’t far behind them. The guilt of his past weighs heavily on Alec’s shoulders, and his secrets only push Ariana further away. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.
The world appears to be going on regardless of the risks Ariana faces. The Duillaine insist that they are doing everything they can to find Ariana, but their actions betray that claim. Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival and Terrena’s betrothal than rescuing Ariana.
Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.
Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she’s more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.
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To see where the tour has been, and where it’s going, check out the calendar below!
|Krystal Wade||Margo Bond Collins||Here is What I Read Book Blog|
|Vicki Trask||Jessa Russo||Lorraine Harvey|
|Priya Kanaparti||Nerd Girl Official||Terry’s Book Addiction|
|Ali Dean||Shooting Star Book Reviews|
|Tuesday 10/14||Wednesday 10/15||Thursday 10/16|
|Ali Dean (Review)||Jan Farnworth (Review)||James Wymore (Guest Post)|
|Terry’s Book Addiction (Review)||Jamie Ayres (Promo)|
|Friday 10/17||Saturday 10/19||Monday 10/20|
|Emma Adams (Interview)||Laveda Kasch (Excerpt #1)||Eliza Tilton (Excerpt #2)|
|Elsie Elmore (Interview)||Jessa Russo (Excerpt #3)|
|Cait Spivey (Guest Post)||Shooting Star Book Reviews (Excerpt #4)|
|Here is What I Read (Interview)|
|Tuesday 10/21||Wednesday 10/22||Thursday 10/23|
|Michael Panush (Review)||Book Lover Blog (Review)||Ayden Morgen (Guest Post)|
|Friday 10/24||Monday 10/27||Tuesday 10/28|
|K. L. Schwengel (Guest Post)||Katie Teller (Interview)||Priya Kanaparti (Guest Post)|
|Charity Bradford (Excerpt #5)||Sharon Bayliss (Review)|
|Vicki Trask (Review)|
|Sarah Anderson (Interview)|
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