A Death in Emmaus   4 comments

Welcome to the Blog Hop, where this week we are delving into the question –

How do you feel about the death of fictional characters? These can be your own or those of other authors. How would you do it? Do you have a criteria for who can die? Would you ever kill off a named character?

I wonder what my fellow writers think about this subject. Or tell us as readers think in the comments section of our posts.

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Image result for image of deathIf you read my books, you probably think I don’t have a problem killing named characters. My first book, The Willow Branch, I killed Prince Maryn in the first scene.  In the second book of Transformation Project (Objects in View), I killed about 100 people in a single incident. I’m racking up a high body count for someone who isn’t writing thrillers. And trust me, especially in Transformation Project, some main characters will eventually die because it’s an apocalyptic and dying is part of the landscape.

But this doesn’t mean I have no problem with killing off named characters. I miss my characters when they stop talking to me. So why do I kill them?

Well, generally it is because they don’t talk to me anymore. In other words, I don’t decide that they are going to die. They just do. When that occurs, it’s a good opportunity to retire the character in some bloody way. In an apocalyptic, death advances the narrative. It can change the leadership structure of a community, the mindset of those who loved the character, the feel of the series in general. It can also open opportunities for other characters to play a more active role in the story. My main criteria for the death of a character is that they no longer have a story to tell.

In the Medieval world of Daermad Cycle, death from sickness or war would be common. You can’t flinch from it. People are going to die and a novelist must deal with it.  I like cliff-hangers for the end of my books because I write series and you want people to desire to read the next book, so a little mystery — as if Tamys is going to survive a fall, or if Donyl will be eaten by the dragon — helps with that. But if your characters always survive the cliffhanger, the mystery goes away and the reader knows what to expect. So expect some of my characters not to survive.

It really comes down to this. Art imitates life and in real life, people die, so within the novel world, people must also die. Everyone in my books are subject to death, because that is the real world in which we live.

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Posted October 17, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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4 responses to “A Death in Emmaus

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  1. Yes I agree that characters should die, although an agent once told me that they shouldn’t. Apparently they ‘each need to complete their journey’.

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    • If mine have stopped talking to me, they have apparently completed their journey. In my apocalyptic, there will be a few folks who simply leave the community. What happened to them? They could have survived by driving hundreds of miles to warmer climates on a single tank of gasoline. That’s not believable, but I’ll leave it open-ended like that. But, yeah, people die so why wouldn’t characters die.

      Liked by 1 person

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