Monday, August 10, 2015

Another Character Bites the Dust

Another Character Bites the Dust

Ever wonder were that saying came from?

According to The Phrase Finder:

Bite the dust


Fall to the ground, wounded or dead.


The same notion is expressed in the earlier phrase 'lick the dust', from the Bible, where there are several uses of it, including Psalms 72:

"They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him and his enemies shall lick the dust."

The earliest citation of the 'bite the dust' version is from 1750 in Tobias Smollett's 'Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane':

"We made two of them bite the dust, and the others betake themselves to flight."

So, it's safe to use in my ca 1860s novel. Except I don't. But I could. And I might.



The midpoint of FORTUNE 2 appeared to me, not so much in a sudden flash as in a slow evolution. I had the ongoing story plotted, but wasn't happy with it. It was, well, bland.

You see, I need to get the main character from Point A to Point B, and she could have walked, strolled, ambled... But now she will have to run (or die).

This involves sacrificing a character, the second minor character in this book to meet his end, but I'm not so mean that neither gets to have a "final speech." One will give a deathbed confession, the other dies off-stage, but has his chance to speak his mind before biting the dust. They won't dwell too long on their final thoughts -- I want drama, not melodrama.

And this part will have tension, terror, heartache, tears, (some blood and gore, too, but not too much) all that good stuff. And of course a promise that the second half  will bring more of the same, along with, of course, a happy ending.

The characters have to work hard to earn their happy ending. Boy, do they ever!


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