Now in the writing world there is the phrase, "Kill your Darlings." Now for some, this means don't be afraid to put your characters through hell and back. Sometimes this means we have to actually kill them off.
Now, the problem I'm having is, do I allow Richard (the hero of this story), a man of honor and integrity, a former Captain in the Royal Navy, do the deed?
This causes all kinds of repercussions for me. Although I think the readers won't care, (and might actually be thrilled this toad of a man is dead and Richard did the right thing) however, Amanda may care a great deal. Barthomolew is the father of her child, despicable cad that he is. He does love his daughter, and has given her everything money can buy. He's treated her well (despite the fact he took her away from her mother) and has shown great affection to her.
How is a mother supposed to tell her daughter that her new love interest has killed her father? See where I'm going with this. The daughter only knows her father to be a loving and generous man. If Richard kills him, the child will never love him no matter what.
Now I also know this is all very heavy and deep, and may not even be something any of you think about for your characters. But every action has an equal reaction. What if Richard's killing of Barthomolew does have a negative reaction from my readers? How many will I let down?
And unfortunately Barthomolew does indeed need to die in order for Richard and Amanda to be together. I can't just let them get divorced, I've already played that card.
Tell me -- Do you really think through the actions of your characters before writing a major scene like this? Do you delve into their psyche or just write how you want the story to go?