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Monday, March 15, 2010

Killing off characters...

If you follow my blog you probably know that I am in the process of finishing my revision. A complete rewrite of my original novel which changed so much that it really turned out to be a different novel. Well the real topic of today's post is killing of our characters! Yes we writers are murderers. Some faiths that we create for our characters are pure evil... (snickers and laughs evilly) Some are just necessary for the story to go on. for example I had my main character almost drink out of a goblet of juice when a knock was heard on the door and he out of the kindness of his heart gave the juice to a guard. The guard drank the juice and died a horrid and gruesome death after the poison slowly dissolved his internal organs and capillaries! I mean it was just a guard right? I had to do that so that my character doesn't die and so that he discovers that somebody is secretly trying to kill him, I mean poison. For this character I admit not to even care killing him off. I didn't even give him a name.

But what about characters that are there with your MC from the very start? The characters that you named and made up a past for. Sacrifices have to be made. That's probably the conclusion I came to. But hey in my very first novel the MC died at the end. That's how amateur I was back then. In fact it also had a cliché beginning! Thank god that I started reading these blogs and learning. lol. I guess it's true that first novels really do suck! And even if you disagree there are writers that wrote a first novel without experience but believe me they revised countless times before getting it to where they wanted it so technically it's not the first anymore. So what is your opinion on killing characters off? Is it easy for you? Hard perhaps? Perhaps impossible because you are such a kind person or perhaps you make up the most treacherous deaths for them to face? Leave a comment!


  1. In my first novel (which I'm still editing), the main character's mother dies. It happens off-camera while the MC is away -- she doesn't find out her mother's dead until she returns home. That's also when the MC finds out that her own carelessness was largely responsible for the death.

    I didn't plan it, and it wasn't hard. As I wrote the MC's return to her home, it just happened. It fit -- completely. It gave the MC the impetus to kick herself into gear and complete her quest.

  2. Me too. I don't really feel sorry for them but some of the deaths I give are evil I tell you. Evil. lol. I fell sorry for your MC. I can't imagine how I would feel if my mom died and it partially had something to do with me.I would seriously hat myself and I def. see how that pushes your story forward. In fact in my story my MC's father dies but the thing is that he kills him. Of course there are reasons and the father is evil but he is ill and has not much longer to live any way.

  3. In some terrible sadistic way I sort of enjoy the process of killing off characters. You enter this sort of twilight zone where everything in the scene hums with some strange energy because someone is dying! and where you're driven on to keep writing because someone is dying! To me it's like watching a scene in a movie where a character dies, only it was a movie I'd seen before and knew it was coming. So you can sit back and enjoy the acting, or, here, the writing that goes into it.

  4. Some characters are easy-- it depends on how well I can relate to their personality. But I do kill of two of my mains. It was hard. I cried. But I know their death makes the ending worth reading, so I write on, then revise, and revise some more... and wonder when it'll reach the 'satisfactory' point...

  5. Alyson: LOL, I know what you mean!

    Cipher Queen: It really is sad when you get attached to them.