To Kill or Not to Kill: That is the Question.

My husband is my frontline editor.  He’s amazingly supportive. Every time I write a new scene or come up with a new concept, I bring it to him. He makes sure it makes sense, corrects my typing mistakes, and makes sure I haven’t lost my mind and contradicted myself. He also worked out all the language for the spells in The Tethering. He’s wonderfully talented, and I am thoroughly convinced that I never would have received a publishing contract without him.

Now that I’ve gotten through the mushy “my husband rocks” bit, this wonderful level of cooperation comes at a cost. He knows what’s going on in the story as I write it, and if I mention something I want to happen, he occasionally freaks out. The other day, I was working on a scene, and I wanted to kill off a character. I mean, if you’re in the ocean, why not drown someone?

But he didn’t agree. Not that I couldn’t kill that character, but that it just wasn’t a good enough death. Well, fine. I can kill that one off later. There is one character that he kindly told me he would divorce my butt if I tried to kill her off. Good to know what the boundaries within my marriage are.

He’s read The Tethering six times, not including when I was first working on the book and he was reading the random scenes as I wrote them. He knows the story and my characters almost as well as I do. How do you kill the character your spouse loves? Can you save a character because you love them? Or if it’s best for the story, do you let them drown, even if you husband would divorce you? How do you pick who lives and who dies?

Please tell me how you make your choices in the comments!

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “To Kill or Not to Kill: That is the Question.

  1. One thing I learned from David Gemmell: “Death comes to us all.” And so killing characters, even beloved ones, is necessary for our tales. Who dies? That completely depends on multiple factors of the tale: Genre, theme, mood, etc… Those characters I gacked in After Life *had* to die… They truly did. And I cried as I wrote some of their deaths, but it was non-negotiable.
    Sorry, that’s as much of an explanation as I have.
    Daniel

  2. Very carefully. I’ve read some books by authors who seem to make it a goal to kill off all but one or two characters. I guess it would all depend on the story and if you’re blood thirsty.
    I try not to kill off many characters, but when I do, they always seem to manage to come back to life somehow.

    • This character has to die, but I suppose I can wait a little longer. I’m trying not to turn it into a blood bath. But in the real(or at least real in my book) world people die.

    • I don’t want to kill them off in mass, but with crazed wizards on the loose, someone’s got to die.

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