It’s been a hard year with several friends passing away. Now I lost a family member.

I find writers fall into two clichés when they write about death. One is they have the main character work through the seven stages of grief. The other is the hero is consumed with rage at the death of a friend or comrade on goes on to preform impossible feats.

The seven stages never talk about survivor’s guilt. The feelings of why him. He was younger than me. He had so much life to live, he took so much better care of himself. He had plans, goals. The words, “It was his time” don’t cut it.

In Star Wars, Luke could have thrown his life away for revenge. The writers did not show him resolving to live, to live his life to the fullest. There has to be more to life than being a Jedi.

Was this a mistake or would showing the character going through stages of grief just taken too long?

Death causes strong emotions. They are hard emotions and hard to write about. Writing is not easy. Show you care, don’t use death as a handy plot device.

We are all here for a short time. Have a will made, then go out and write hard, work hard, play hard, and enjoy life.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage