Last week I killed someone I cared about.
Yes it bothered me… which is a good thing. I do have a moral compass. I don’t think killing should ever be something that gets no emotional response. I’m sure you understand, I am still trying to fully process the emotional impact of death. When I kill someone, and it does nothing to my emotions… well, that person obviously didn’t mean much to me. If that person didn’t mean much to me then why would that person matter to my readers?
When a characters dies I believe there should be emotion. It doesn’t matter whether it is a villain or a hero. When a character dies the readers should be emotionally invested. I’m pretty good about keeping my emotions about fictional characters in check.
But sometimes a character becomes “alive” in my head. So when it finally is time to kill that character… it brings me to a point where I have to process my ENTIRE story. And I’m like: “Well maybe THIS character doesn’t neeeeeed to die.”
A 007 type miracle to avoid death is occasionally plausible. Right? When I find myself really caring about a character my imagination sometimes tries to invent an impossible escape for the character. I was in this position last week. One of my characters needed to die.
Sometimes the story is better when a character dies. I am not pretending to be a writing expert. I’m sharing my writing failures and triumphs with you. You get to learn from my experience (mistakes) and hopefully be better in your work. So yes, in my humble opinion, sometimes a good (or great) story needs a touch of death.
And I killed the character.
The story is better for it… I guess.
When you kill someone in your story, do you ever need a glass of wine to feel better about it? How do you deal?