The Rights and Wrongs of Killing off Your Characters:

23 Dec

This is a fun subject that every good writer eventually encounters: When is it ok to kill off your characters, and what is ok when killing him off? Here is a guide to all of the literal literary pitfalls and traps you’ll encounter when trying to kill one of your characters.

Tip 1

The main character normally does not die, or if he does, he comes back. Sometimes you can get rid of the persistent person for good, but normally only because he’s “gone to a happier place.” Got it. So avoid releasing your homicidal urges on the main character and try for the minor characters or supporting leads.

Tip 2

If your story involves a complicated love-triangle, don’t just kill off everyone who doesn’t fit into your desired romance, keep an ace up your sleeve for these situations: a charming person  to even out the story’s romantic interests.

Tip 3

When you kill off a character, don’t expect the reader to care much unless:

a. the victim was very close to the main character

b. the victim’s death was essential to the plot

c. the victim was an important supporting lead

d. the victim had been/would be discussed a lot during the rest of the story’s duration

e. the victim was close to a supporting role to the point that their death would define the character in some way

f. the victim’s death leads up to something

If none of these apply, its safe to say that it doesn’t matter that you’re killing off the character, and their death is an unnecessary inconvenience that does not require the elaboration of being expounded upon. In other words, don’t bother.

However, if any of these do apply, you may feel free to do whatever killing you feel is required.

One Response

  1. Jaimey says:

    Good advice. I prefer just to kill them off randomly and constantly, Stephen King style.

Leave a Reply

RA Spyder:The Official Site

"Through Me Good Will Prevail."