Which of the characters in my books were supposed to die and wouldn't?
Unlike a lot of writers, as a general rule I am not able to plot out my books. The Bottle Tree was an anomaly, I woke up from a nap one day and knew virtually the entire story. I had to fill in odd bits and pieces but the entire concept was there.
NOTE: PARTIAL SPOILER FOLLOWS BELOW ON NO' CHANCE
However, in No' Chance, when I started writing it I intended to kill off one of the main characters. It was going to play into the story and there was a purpose there, no random acts of violence for me, but it ended up twisting.
As I was writing No' Chance, I found that the characters and the story absolutely refused to let me offer the one up as a sacrifice. In most of my books, as in most books and movies in general, there is a bit of foreshadowing that a character is going to be lost. When you finish the book and go back to re-read it, you can now see the handwriting on the wall.
However, I am not one to force my ideas of a story on the story or characters and if they want to go in a different direction, that's exactly what happens. Quite often where I think it is going turns out to be incorrect.
As those of you who have read No' Chance know, the ending is set in New Orleans. Originally it was going to be in Collinwood, Noah's home town, at a carnival on the town square. Instead, it ended up being at the edge of Jackson Square with the Mississippi River Levee the scene of the final confrontation.
I have no idea, that's just where the book wanted to go. One problem is that it makes it hell on the editing because even now I see hints in the book that I recognize as setting up the carnival scene.
That's why a lot of time when people ask me where I got a certain idea I really can't explain it. All I can say is that the book said that is what was supposed to happen.
Oh, and in No' Chance…Jennifer was going to die when I started it. However, when I tried to work toward that ending, it's like the characters left and refused to cooperate. I finally decided to change it and they reappeared to help me finish the story.