Let’s Talk: Killing Characters

Hey everyone!

Now, I’m going to warn you, this isn’t an informed post with hours of research behind it. This post is only my random musings that I thought of while writing my NaNoWriMo novel.

Character deaths can be sad, heartbreaking, vengeful and, on some rare occasions, perfectly satisfying. It all depends on who they are and what they have done.

Today I’ll be focusing on the death of our wonderful, goodhearted characters. These deaths are heartbreaking and sad. These deaths make us want to grab a bowl of ice-cream and hug something while crying our eyes out. Characters that aren’t one dimensional and make you love them can be so very hard to part with.

However there are deaths that can be so off-putting in a book that readers can’t overlook it and stop reading. This has happened with one author who I used to read every single book of. They were good books and I truly loved the adventure and characters in them. Unfortunately the author had a terrible habit of killing off the female romantic interests of the male characters. On top of that, his couples had been together for years and yet there had only been one child among all the main characters. I mean come on! As a female reader I cannot stress it more, don’t kill off all female characters and please for heavens sake at least let them have a child.

In my NaNoWriMo book, Sorrow’s Blade, I have just created a character who does in fact pass away. Now I won’t give too much of the plot away however I will just say a couple of things. The character began as an important plot point, however as I wrote the character… well, I fell in love.<3 I had told myself that I had to be tough and not get too attached because I knew there would be a risk that I would no longer want to kill them. However the character needs to die for the plot. Despite my own warnings, I got attached and I will break my own heart by killing the character. I will cry, which sounds weird that you cry at your own story, but I can’t help it okay!

So I have a few questions for you, if you care to answer them.

  1. Do you cry when you kill off your characters?
  2. How do you stay strong and make sure you get it done?
  3. How do you feel about the overall idea of character deaths?

I’ll leave it at that for now but feel free to share your thoughts below or by sending me a tweet at @shadow_summit. I’d love to hear from you!

Sorry this is a short post, however my other writing takes up a lot of my time now days. 😦

As always, you guys are awesome!

ShadowSummit

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7 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Killing Characters

  1. I can’t say that I cry when I kill off characters but I do get sad when I do. (I totally get the trying not to get attached to the character so you won’t get attached idea) (unfortunately it never seems to work). To “stay strong” I just tell myself that this needs to happen to move the story forward. (I’ll grieve throughout the story through my characters). TBH, I dislike character deaths that come from a book that I’m reading because a lot of the time, the death was unnecessary and sometimes the person that dies is more interesting then the main character! However, meaningful deaths that move the story forward I am okay with because (as I writer) I do understand that sometimes a character death is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, meaningless deaths are totally annoying. They aren’t needed and just put me off reading. I like to have backstories and characteristics for all of my characters even the side ones which means it is hard to part with them. However all their deaths have meaning and I love them all the more for it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nightsong! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a little renowned for having my characters meet their makers, even my protags, but I always feel like their deaths progress the narrative, and aren’t jarring to the reader… I hope so, anyway.

    1. I cry a lot. My latest release Thrown to The Blue saw me bawling my eyes out when I killed certain people. Reviewers have told me that I executed it well, so it makes my heartache worth while.

    2. Just write it. It’s emotional and draining, but if it is necessary to the narrative, then it will work out well. If you’re crying the readers should feel the emotion too.

    3. Again, if it is necessary, then it must be done. I don’t like deaths for the sake of deaths (without meaning), but to progress the narrative, give another character motivation etc etc, then it’s worth while.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you are getting good feedback on your book! Congratulations on that by the way! 😀
      I do have several deaths in my books too, I always get teary. However I feel that sometimes the death adds to the love the reader has for them. (As long as it isn’t a stupid death).
      I agree with your second point, and when I think back, sometimes those parts in the book are some of my favourite emotional moments in my stories. Sadness and loss can be very relatable emotions in books. So I guess a death can add an awesome touch to books, as long as you do it right.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice! ❤

      Like

  3. Hmm, to answer your questions, I haven’t killed off one of my characters yet. I may kill off one character, though, but I haven’t firmly decided yet. However, we will see what happens. Sometimes, characters do have to die, and when they do, it’s sad =(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is good not to kill off characters simply because you can, but for the plot sometimes it can actually add raw emotion to the story. It is incredibly sad to have them die, especially when as a writer you probably have their whole life and character planned out. 😦 Thanks for commenting Akaluv! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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