Friday, August 2, 2013
On killing Off Characters
Before I finished heavily editing my last book, The Darkness of the Womb, one of my friends told me that some of the characters seemed indestructible. He said that I leave a lot of close calls but no real danger, which, in the end, hurt the story.
Well, I really thought about that and knew right then and there what I had to do. I had to kill off one of my main characters. Only then could you sense that danger was real in my world.
This sort of unpredictability is important in any story, but it can't just be a meaningless death for the sake of having a death. If it didn't impact the plot or advance the story in some way, then I knew the reader would become even more distant with the narrative. And there's nothing worse than the curtain being pulled back only to reveal that there's an actual author telling the story. The best writing makes you forget that the author even exists at all until the end of the book, to which you want to thank them. So kill your characters off with caution. It's a big decision. Make sure that it's the right one.