If authors write authentic novels they have to kill off some of their characters. It is the way of life, the way of reality, and ... we all die. Hope that isn't a spoiler for your story of your life. I have a particular talent for killing off animals (look out, Louie-the-dog). As far as readings go, these are some of my most poignant chapters. Unicorns, elephants and horses have all fallen under my hand. I am a cad. Mind you, my human characters fare no better. One of my favourite characters, Mother Ursula (who classed all animals as "the other animals") met her own demise from the heft of an Ox. I'm not sure if this means I have a problem or not.
In A LOST TALE I did, deliberately, make certain that the eldest and the youngest Druid were killed on the same beach at the same time. I think only a couple of people have noted this - which surprises me. And, in the thrillers - well, it is de rigour mortus to have a hefty body count.
And then there is Norman, my sociopath murderer. There is a whole manuscript devoted to his carnage. But he enjoyed himself, so it isn't quite the same.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
By Maryann Yin
Have you ever killed a character in your novel?
Divergent trilogy author Veronica Roth wrote a blog post explaining her policy on killing characters in her books. Roth (pictured, via) noted that she rejected the video game philosophy “where people get killed all the time but no one really cares or thinks about it.” Editor’s note: The rest of this post contains Divergent, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings spoilers.
Here’s an excerpt from Roth’s blog post: “It would be far too convenient for Tris to retain all her friends and family while all these other people are losing theirs…I try to be just as unfair as the world is; I take away characters when I have to, and I don’t really think about whether it’s balanced. Tris loses both parents; Tobias and Christina lose neither. Tris gets to keep her boyfriend; Christina’s is taken from her. It’s not fair either way, and that feels honest to me.”