There is a chapter in Bunny Trouble that is action packed and filled with Conflict Goodness. Bad people do bad things and get their asses handed to them by the good guys. It is glorious and a corner of my brain would like to think if Tom Clancy ever read it, he would go “ooh rah!” Sometimes the Good Guys have to win. They just have to win.
It is also brutal. I finished the chapter and had to get up and go outside for some fresh air and reflection. I have written some disturbing things before but this was ugly. Several times I have contemplated deleting the chapter and moving the book in a slightly different direction.
It comes to this: if I do not want The Wife Unit to read it, then I just cannot have it as part of the story, and I am not too sure my wife would want to read something like that. Did I mention it was brutal?
After some soul searching, I have decided to keep it. In the chapter, I introduce a minor character, someone just above plot convenience and slightly below ‘give me more of that person please.’ Without intending it, this character says a few things that sum up the premise of the book plot in a sneaky way and makes the entire chapter necessary: not so much to move the plot along but to justify the entire book theme. Thus, what comes next is a validation of the entire Bunny Trouble series of books. How could I delete that? I cannot. It was like a gift from the Literary Plot Producing Gods. You will be reading book two and go “well shit I should have seen that coming.”
Therefore, what do I do with The Wife Unit? If I have to leave the chapter in, I just have to deal with the consequences that she and some of my friends will just quit reading the book and come kick my ass for wasting their time putting emotional investment into characters they do not wish to read about anymore, even though they won against Evil.
In the end, I am gambling that The Wife Unit and my friends would want me to be true to myself and true to my story. Bad things happen to good people. This is the reality of the world in which we live. No one, including myself, wants to read about these bad things in the course of entertainment if the book does not bring any value to the table. Thus, I have to trust myself that I am bringing value. That long after you put the entertaining book down; you are thinking thoughts of a deep and meaningful nature. One of the best books I have ever read, I felt like I received the end of a literary sledgehammer, the ending of the book actually had me feeling vaguely ill. There are no regrets in the reading, for in the end it was a story of a love between a father and a son that said so very much on what it really means to have such a relationship.
I used to think writing was easy. I wish I could travel back in time and kick my younger self in the ass. “No it’s not easy. You just have not started writing yet.”