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There Must Be 50 Ways to Kill Mike Hatchett

January 26, 2010

It seems like many writers of detective fiction come to hate their great detectives eventually. Agatha Christie found Poirot “insufferable” and wrote of him in her diary as “an ego-centric creep.” Arthur Conan Doyle loathed Holmes so much that he killed him off (to be fair, I hate Holmes too, or at least Holmes from the books. He’s so dry and stuffy, and unlike many other great detective characters, he’s kind of flat. New sexy Robert Downey Jr. Holmes is a different story…).

The thing is that these writers came to hate their characters after years of writing about them. As much as I am charmed by Christie’s impeccable Belgian detective, I could understand wanting to wrap my hands around his fat little neck after writing about him for at least THIRTY YEARS. I already hate my detective character, and I haven’t finished writing even one story about him. Unfortunately, he has to solve at least one case before I can kill him off.

Besides, when Holmes died, the public was PISSED. They cared about that one-sided character enough to make a big stink when he plunged to his death over the Reichenbach Falls. They cared enough to force Conan Doyle to bring Holmes back to life. “Oh, sorry, Watson, old chap, I know it looked like my body was smashed upon those giant rocks, but in fact it was all a jolly great wheeze. I did it with wires and Japanese wrestling techniques,” saith the great Holmes. I want people to care about my character that much, too. I want women to weep when he gets shot in the back, or poisoned, or garroted, or whatever delicious way I devise for him to die. Because he will die.

So, basically, here’s my plan:

  • Phase One: Write lots of stories about Mike Hatchett
  • Phase Two:  ?
  • Phase Three: Achieve the level of fame enjoyed by Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie
  • Phase Four: Kill Mike Hatchett
  • Phase Five: Weeping and tearing of hair commences around the globe.

Yup, that covers it.

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