Killing a character :(

So, today I am feeling a little rough. Woke up this morning and couldn’t feel the left side of my throat. Swallowing was even worse, so I am afraid I had a hot toddy and went to bed for an hour. That means little writing done for the day. 😦

What I wanted to chat about here really was the thoughts I’ve been feeling for the last few days. I’ve gotten to know my characters through November pretty well. They’re funny, loving and hard working.  Yet, when the opportunity arises to do that most hurtful thing and lose a character, how do you do it?

I don’t mean how you actually kill them, there can be many reasons for their death. What I mean is how you cope and deal with it as a writer?

Spoiler – For me, this time around came because my story takes place with my characters fleeing their home planet. They are at war with a neighbouring species. This particular character is a hero, he saves many lives in aptly defending his people while injured. Those injuries aren’t yet life threatening. (But the opportunity arose for me to lose him) yet I couldn’t quite make that final decision. I thought and thought about it. But, I just couldn’t kill him.

So I posed the question to facebook and my writer friends….

It was a close friends (lovely) wife that said ‘If in doubt, kill them.’ and that was the final straw, my characters fate was sealed. And his injuries became life threatening and then he passed on.

I am totally at a loss now. Mourning along with everyone left behind. 😦

I feel for them and I feel for myself.

Does anyone else have any experience as they lose characters, or purposely plan to kill them off? How do you deal with it? Do you get as upset as me? Or are you all okay with it?

I have had a break today, but I’ll be getting back into the swing of it tomorrow. Although writing in a funeral isn’t going to be nice either.

Happy writing all. 🙂

Dawn x


8 comments on “Killing a character :(

  1. Wow, Dawn. You really invest in your characters! But I understand. Sometimes I feel like I know my characters better than most real people. And I also invest a lot in them, like you do. I haven’t had the same experience when killing off a character, and I have had a few that I LOVED that I’ve killed.

    I think ( I hope) it’s because I invest even more in the story, and the purpose of a death is to strengthen that story. Either that, or I’m just a cold hard biotch! 🙂

    • I doubt you are cold and hard… but I do get you. To strengthen the story is a must no matter how or when you do it. For me, this character’s demise was a little earlier than I had planned. When the muse speaks, you kinda have to listen or she won’t shut up at all… and as people, we need sleep lol. thanks for the reply. 🙂

  2. If we don’t invest ourselves in our characters, than we really don’t know them. So, when one of our beloved ‘family’ members endures hardship and pain, we feel for them.

    I had to kill off a primary character in MY:SELF. For days prior to ‘her death’ I, too, agonized over her demise. Then, imagining the exacting circumstances of her death sent me into a panic. It was as if I were actually killing ‘my beloved’. And it took several more days before I was okay with my act of ‘murder’.

    As god of this universe, we create and then, we destroy. All for the sake of a story. So, it better be a great one.

  3. I killed off a wonderful, major character, and while it really turned the series around, it was for the benefit of all involved. Yet, three years after writing that book, I still think about that decision. There wasn’t any other way, and he does waft in and out in alter novels. But it’s still a huge shock. Stephen King did the same in The Stand; sometimes characters are sacrificed for the greater fictional good.

    Good luck with these last few days of NaNo, and thanks for following my blog! 🙂

    • I know, it was for the greater good. Tough though. I look forward to reading more after nano is over 🙂 Thanks for stopping by too.

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