In the writing class I taught, we talked about having characters die-random deaths, expendable characters, can you kill the hero?, etc. We looked at the King Arthur legends--pretty soon, everyone is dead, even if they are planning on a return in the distant future. The students seemed a tad upset--we talked about Old Yeller--the classic for having a character die to kids--and the Harry Potter books/films. It was a good discussion. When I told them about EE having to die, however, they were upset. I explained that it was not fiction, even if some parts have to be reconstructed and guessed at based on sources. Still, they concluded that it was up to me if he died or not. They suggested I just stop the book before it gets to his death! Well, that just won't work. He has to die--not once, but in every rewrite!! I'm starting to feel like Carrie!
I got Ken Burns' Civil War movie--Vol. 1--from NetFlix. I am going to watch that tonight and see if he covers EE at all. Anybody know where I can get a good deal on t-shirts?