Killing Characters

When to kill a character can sometimes pose a problem for the writer.  We bond with our characters as much as the reader does.  Death however is natural.  No one likes it but it is an inevitability with people and subsequently characters.

Some series are known for killing characters left and right, others do it sparingly, and some kill characters and bring them back regularly.  Personally, I’m fine with character deaths if they make sense, and the same is true with character resurrections.  I know that there is a complaint in speculative fiction works that characters die and come back constantly.  There is no finality.  I understand this point-of-view.  This isn’t something we see in real life.  Some also see it as diminishing a character’s sacrifice or the impact of his/her death.  That can be the case, but I welcome unexpected returns and plot twists.  After all it is FICTION and as long as the resurrection happens within the established rules of the imaginary universe, I’m all for it.

Killing characters flippantly is irritating.  I know modern storytelling that has this is rather popular, but I feel it is focusing too much on being edgy over plot.  Killing characters to advance the plot is my favorite approach.  If everyone was immortal there would be no tension, no mystery, so death is important in fiction.

However, what’s important is what YOU like.  What sort of death/life balance do you like to see in fiction?  Do you like it dark and gritty where main characters drop like flies or something less dramatic?  Let me know in the comments!

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