Over the last several weeks, I’ve struggled to write a scene for my work in progress where my main character, twelve-year-old Blue’s little sister has been attacked by one of the moonshine still watchers whom the girls refer to as “the dirty man.” Thankfully, Blue hears her sister’s screams, but she doesn’t know if she reached her sister before he hurt her. Blue’s little sister’s shorts have been torn off, and the dirty man is on top of her when Blue rushes in. Blue has a gun and knows how to shoot. The question remains, does Blue shoot him? If so, does she kill him, or do she and her sister just get away? This is the second time the dirty man has attacked the girls, and he’s crazy, so Blue knows he will follow them and try again.
When I asked my trusted Facebook friends “what should Blue do?” they all said, “Kill him!” Since this is not the end of the book, Blue has to move on with her life. What would life be like for a twelve-year-old girl who just killed another human being? Could she live with the memory? Could she continue to protect her sister from other dangers in the world?
Well, I wrote the scene. I won’t tell you what happens, but I think I’m going to write the scene again. Maybe I’ll write twelve different scenarios to see where my words go. As Mike Kimball told me once, “As a writer, you have to walk through the fire, not just stand beside it.”