character / death / film / life / murder / short story / video / writing

Kill Them All!

Gypsy Witch Fortune Telling Cards

I’ve just killed someone. Well, a fictional someone. A fictional character that I quite liked.

She was young. And sympathetic. I wanted her to live, but that seemed…so unlikely. I’ve killed characters before…this one just bothered me more than usual.

Maybe I’ve watched too much of Stranger than Fiction.

Am I killing a character because it makes sense or for shock value or to end the story when I can’t think of anything else?

How do you know?

How many characters have you killed? Do you ever bad about it?

6 thoughts on “Kill Them All!

  1. Considering I’m very new to writing, I’ve ended up killing most of my characters…

    I guess that I haven’t written enough to really feel bad about it. Maybe, when I’m sleeping tonight, they will appear in my dreams and haunt me to bring them back to life.

    • Hmmm. I don’t know if being knew to writing means killing more characters. I would’ve thought the opposite was true.

      Well, I don’t always feel bad about it. And in this case I’m not sure “bad” is the right word. “Conflicted” might be more to the point.

      And golly, I’ve dreamed about characters…

  2. This is a very interesting question because it makes me realize I have never killed a character, only mourned and grieved and missed characters who have already died before the story began. I would feel horrified to start the story earlier, when the characters were alive, and follow them to their deaths. I do it in a distanced way of telling of the past, but that is very different from making it the present action of the story. Am I making any sense? I’m going to think about this.

    • Killing them in the story is definitely different. And this one really…well, I’m never one to do anything for a simple reason, and figuring out all my reasons gives me fits.

      Oh. Anyway. You are making sense. I’d like to hear your thoughts later.

  3. I’ve killed a few of them. It’s complicated, because you have to walk this line between (a) giving them what they “deserve,” objectively (like in the cut-and-dry case of a really nasty, murderous villain), (b) giving them what the reader might want for them, and (c) giving them what you yourself what you want for them. Then you’ve got to factor in reality, at least a little: what would their real-world counterpart(s) probably get? and does this death “make sense” in the world of the story?

    I once killed two main characters at the same time. Neither was a villain, although both were flawed in lesser ways. This was at the end of a novel, so I’d already spent a lot of time with them. They had to die. They had to.

    But ye gods it was excruciating. I sobbed like a baby for maybe a half-hour afterwards, and was intermittently depressed for days.

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