It was Mrs. White in the library with a candlestick. (And now, I want to play Clue or at the very least watch the movie.)
Seriously, it was me, in my novel, with the fingers of ready writer.
Let me start from the beginning…
I’m writing a pivotal scene in the revision of my WIP. My MC is given a “warning” that she’s told too much about her parents’ murder.
And from this, I was thinking about having the murderer kill someone else close to her, but I’m having a difficult time of it.
I had already written out a blog post about murdering characters ready to go. Then, it all changed.
My last paragraph went something like this:
Personally, I don’t have the strength to kill off my favorite characters. I have been considering whether or not to kill one in my novel “Read Me Dead,” but I can’t decide! I guess I’ll just have to see what happens with my characters before I make such a decision. I’m not entirely sure where my revision is taking me yet.
When I wrote this, I hadn’t fully decided whether to kill one of my favorite characters, but while talking to my friend (Bless his heart. He has to listen to me yammer on and on about my writing.), we decided that it would be best. See, he read the rough draft of the novel, and so he kind of knew where my thinking was going even if I had made some drastic changes he wasn’t aware of yet.
With saying all of this, I have to admit that even though this is very difficult for me to have to do. He’s right. It’s the right decision to make.
Here’s why I think so.
Killing well liked characters, adds more emotions and tension to a story in my opinion. It even makes me want to keep reading as strange as that might be. When a character is murdered or dies in a story, I want to cry, but I also want to read on and make sure that there’s a silver lining, a happy ending. I’m not fond of non-happy endings, and usually, if I come across one that isn’t happy and know that it’s not going to be part of a series, it frustrates me. Such as The Time Traveler’s Wife… don’t even get me started on that one!
It’s perfectly acceptable to kill off characters in your story. In mystery and suspense novels, it’s almost to be expected. Fantasy and thrillers as well. In a lot of YA fiction, well loved characters are killed too. Death is as much a part of the fictional world as it is the real world.
I just finished reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, and if you’re into YA, you will definitely want to read this one. However, *Spoiler Alert*!
One of her characters commits suicide. I didn’t see it coming at first, but after I thought about, I was like, “You know. It was kind of expected.” It ends up making perfect sense.
Also, other characters die, and it just breaks your heart to read. Especially one where the main character, Tris, has to do the killing… it’s just so emotional!
Another *Spoiler Alert*. In the last book of The Hunger Games series (which I also recommend strongly), a lot of good people are killed. It broke my heart to read those death scenes. Tension and emotions run even higher because of them.
And these aren’t the only examples I can use. There are plenty! These two are fresh on my mind though. (I’m really into dystopian YA Fiction apparently.)
I’m not killing him because of other YA writers killing their characters. I just think that my story and the development of it afterwards will be much better…albeit a bit sad without him.
So, after all of this, I am sure I made the right decision in the end. I think so anyway…
A special thanks to Zeeshan Sattar for allowing me to use his photo.