On Lenore Vadenburgh and Breaking Writing Rules

In my latest Dr. Nekros story, “Diatribe and Divulgence,” we get to know Lenore Vadenburgh – Dr. Nekros’ mother.  I won’t spoil too much about her if you haven’t yet read the story, but I wanted to clear a few things up that are already concerning some readers.

Now, I’m no expert at writing – far from it.  Most of you know I’m actually a living cliché in that I’m a high school English teacher who writes primarily as a hobby, though I’ve had a few successes here and there.  But, I do know one rule about writing, one that must never be broken.  Do not publicly discuss a story you’re working on until it’s completion.

Well, normally, I try to adhere to this maxim, but I’ve got a few things begging revolt this one time.  The first is that my Dr. Nekros story is actually an eighteen-part electronic serial that will span three years to write.  That’s a long time to keep silent.  Of course, I’ll never reveal its ending before the last story, but there are certain things I’m comfortable discussing and Lenore Vadenburgh is one such thing.

Which leads me to the second catalyst.  Lenore Vadenburgh is a cancer survivor.  Because I’m known for sometimes killing off characters, some readers are already worried that I’m going to be especially horrible by killing a cancer survivor.

Though I shouldn’t tell you this, though I’m breaking an important rule of writing, I vow to you here and now that Lenore will survive the entire Dr. Nekros serial and beyond.

You see, with Lenore, I’m actually turning my back on virtually every rule of writing in existence.  I’m sentimental toward her, she represents a lot of hurt in my loved one’s lives, and she stands for something greater than the story in which she thrives.

In reality, I’ve known too many fantastic, vital, loving, wonderful women who have been taken by cancer.  These women made the world a better place, and they were stolen far too soon from us.  Lenore will not be stolen.  I can’t guarantee anyone’s victory over cancer in real life, but in my story, in my little pocket universe, I rule supreme and I am telling cancer what it cannot have Lenore.

I wish I had this power in reality, but I don’t.

I won’t guarantee any other character’s survival in Dr. Nekros – not Dr. Nekros himself, nor his ex-wife Zetta, nor the demon Xaphan, nor Zetta’s children Matty and Joey, nor Nekros’ father Cashel.

However, Lenore will live – cancer cannot have her.  Though it breaks every rule of writing, it makes my broken heart feel just a little bit better to know that the women we’ve lost would enjoy Lenore’s character, they would enjoy her strength, her passion, her faith, her panache, her bluntness, and her caring heart.

What’s the point of creating world’s if you don’t get to bend the rules every once in a while?

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