Writers and visual artists your insights, please! Have you ever
“killed” off your main character, or replaced her with another character? Visual
artists, how do you deal with dying forms, from flowers and dried river beds to
human figures and emotion?
In my novel, “The Dance of Time”, my main character dies
halfway through the story and a new main character, an ostensible louse, takes
center stage. I’m told this is unusual, shouldn’t be done. What’s your take?
In the graphic which is featured at right, you’ll see a
painting by Richard Sigmund, a New York City artist. The work shown here,
entitled “Varanasi”, on exhibit in Ossining, New York, is inspired by one of Sigmund’s
trips to India. The oblique character in the painting represents a dying woman
who has accepted her fate. There’s a strong relationship here to Sigmund’s main
character and to my former main character. In Sigmund’s work, he has chosen not
to replace his main character and the theme then translates to “acceptance”. For
my main character, there is a replacement, one who is given the opportunity to
redeem and renew himself which likely would not have occurred if the previous
main character had lived. That assessment
may appear to answer my own concern about whether or not it is acceptable to “lose”
and “replace” a main character in a novel. However, I’d like to hear what you
have to say and if possible, please relate it to your own work. You’re welcome
to post a link to your work as well.
View more of Sigmund’s street-art related works at the
Ossining Library, New York, December, 2015 and at richardsigmund.com