Someone just died in a story I'm writing.
It was a surprise to me.
I thought she would make it. In the story path I had in my mind, she made it. I'd planned for everything to turn out okay. A happy ending. But... when I wrote the words... she died.
I haven't felt this much grief for the death of a story-person in a really long time. I'm not crying, or anything, like I did once years ago. But I am... stopped. Paused. Crushed, even. It never occurred to me that she would, or even could, die. It never crossed my mind.
Part of me says 'don't be silly, she was only a string of letters and punctuation, she was only alive in your mind. You can change it if you want to.'
I don't think that part of me is right.
I don't think I can save this character, otherwise I wouldn't be feeling so sad about her. She was real, even if only in my mind. I didn't know that I cared so much until she died.
We'll see. I could be wrong, I've been wrong before. But that soft ache that maybe only writers feel says my character is gone, and that the story will have to conclude without her.