When on holidays, I was at a beach where hundreds of these big guys were washing up in the surf, still singing, salt caking their tracheae. the sea gulls were having a feast.
I picked up a few, figuring they were all going to die soon anyway. But if I had to choose dying in the shade of a tree or dying on burning sand, drowning or being eaten alive slowly then I know which one I would choose.
I couldn’t “save” a lot. People looked at me very strangely too, walking back and forth from the surf to the trees, in a dress not suitable for the beach, carrying the giant bugs as carefully as if they were children and even speaking to them… yep. That’s me. Talking to bugs and trying to do what I thought was the “right thing to do.”
But was I just prolonging their suffering?
Was it mean to the sea gulls to deprive them of this rare opportunity, this delicacy? Did some sea gull babies go hungry that day because I prolonged the life of already dying bugs?
I have no idea.
But these are the things that plague me.
Villainous and virtuous seem to be dependent on the side of the fence you are on to begin with. And this eats at me. So much so, this is what my current novel is about.
Which is super important in fiction writing. Most people do not think they are a “bad guy.”
I’m not really giving advice, because writing advice from anyone besides people like Stephen King, Jack Vance, Raymond E Fiest, Robert McCammon, or any other truly great writer, is bullshit. But I am more just having a public conversation with myself that may help other writers think about what they are writing.