Re: Killing off the characters you love

#41

Crash Wrote: I considered adding a couple of side characters to a story, then realised they would get in the way later, but then saw that before that point there was a great opportunity to kill them off.  That let me make an encounter properly dangerous rather than oddly safe.  So then I had fun fleshing out the new side characters and letting readers get a bit attached to them, knowing full well that I'd be killing them off soon.  It wasn't too hard to kill them off since that was their purpose.



Hahaha, I am actually following the same path, sort of. I just finished writing three chapters of fleshing those characters out. 
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Re: Killing off the characters you love

#42

Dubs Wrote: I'm so weak when it comes to this. I can't tell you how many characters I wrote with the intent to kill off but then ended up liking them too much to do so. Of course, I have still put in a number of deaths of beloved characters, however it's not easy when it does happen.



Awww, I hear you, Dubs. It will never be easy, but like Ankur said, they all have a role to play, in life and in death.
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Re: Killing off the characters you love

#44

Jahx Wrote: Death is too quick and easy.

I like to maim my characters.  Break their spirits.  Take away, one by one, the things they hold dear.

'How do you hurt a man who has lost everything?'

'You give him back something broken.'



Great dark humor, lol. 
But, funny you mention it, cuz I literally maimed one of my characters. Like you said, the plan at first was to kill it. But, then, he became too likeable. So, I just settled for a severed arm. 
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Re: Killing off the characters you love

#47
I'm in a situation where I created a side character knowing they would die and... was wrong. Upon refining my plot for later books I realised that the story works much better if one of my favourites, a character I'd spent a lot of time developing and had a planned happy ending for, dies instead. Sorry, buddy -- to the chopping block with you. :(

The character's also a reader favourite, so I cheer myself up thinking about how it's gonna hurt them as much as it hurts me. While I don't believe in killing characters just for shock value, it is a nice bonus if they're already slated to die for more important reasons.

Re: Killing off the characters you love

#48

Derin_Edala Wrote: I'm in a situation where I created a side character knowing they would die and... was wrong. Upon refining my plot for later books I realised that the story works much better if one of my favourites, a character I'd spent a lot of time developing and had a planned happy ending for, dies instead. Sorry, buddy -- to the chopping block with you. :(

The character's also a reader favourite, so I cheer myself up thinking about how it's gonna hurt them as much as it hurts me. While I don't believe in killing characters just for shock value, it is a nice bonus if they're already slated to die for more important reasons.



Totally agreed!! Like a great man once said, "Death is so terribly final; while life is full of possibilities."
In fact, after reading through this entire discussion, I even decided to save another one of my characters that I think has great possibilities. Instead of being killed by his nemesis, he would adopt that nemesis I think and will raise him. 
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Re: Killing off the characters you love

#49
For a long time I didn't like killing off my characters. 
It sucked; they were the best characters ever. 
But then I was writing this story (which I'll be posting eventually) where this character sort of spiraled into uselessness. There were no more adventures to be had. He'd adventured, conquered, fathered dozens of bastards across five continents, raised armies, destroyed armies, and finally carved out his own empire. I thought, "What do I do now?" and I wrote a bunch of Slice-of-Life chapters while I spun my wheels, and then I realized he had to die. 
I didn't want to kill him. I loved him. He was a great guy. 
So I sat down and wrote out his death. I hated it. 
Trash the documents, destroy the data tapes, and swallow the death capsule. Hated it. 
So I did it again. And again. Then I realized that his death was a natural part of the story's progression, and so I killed him over and over and over again, trying to find the "right" way for him to die. 

So how did he die? He died a meaningless, empty death. And it felt great. 

I no longer have a problem with killing off my characters if they need to die. 

Re: Killing off the characters you love

#56
I put on really great epic sounding music when I know I am about to write a character death, and I cry while typing the words (I've had tear puddles left after I've had a good kill the character writing session). I make sure my character never forgets each death she is responsible for. Each death eats at her as I kill off everyone she knows and loves. She's the reason they died, not me. 

Re: Killing off the characters you love

#57

Anehalia Wrote: I cry while typing the words (I've had tear puddles left after I've had a good kill the character writing session). I make sure my character never forgets each death she is responsible for. Each death eats at her as I kill off everyone she knows and loves. She's the reason they died, not me.



Oh boy! I hear you. And music actually seems like a good idea! I will do that too in the future.
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