My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

The Death of a Character

Yesterday I was pretty frustrated with my NaNo project. That generally occurs at least once during the month of November, and the second week is right around the time it hits me.

So I took a step back, wrote a little over 700 words, and let my mind just rest. And when I didn’t concern myself with all the book’s issues, the ideas for the rest of the book were born.

I have to kill off one of my characters.

As in the case of most of my mini-writing epiphanies, the idea came to me while in the shower. Perhaps it’s the hot water or the steam stimulating the creative juices.

The others I just systematically got rid of as they were adding nothing to the story; this one however will actually die in the course of the story. It’s heartbreaking I have to do this, especially since I know how hard it’s going to be on my one character, but the story advances better. If anything, it’ll also help make Miyuki more human after she witnesses how a family is affected when a loved one dies–something she never gave any thought to before.

This will be, oh, probably the third or fourth person that will end up dying over the course of the book. I don’t like killing off my characters like that but if that’s where the story is taking me, then that’s what needs to be done.

Comments on: "The Death of a Character" (4)

  1. Don’t you love epiphanies? Usually the most difficult choices we make in story direction, in terms of ignoring our own discomfort, result in a much more engaging read. In the first book I wrote, I killed off my character’s best friend and it served as a catalyst. And in the one I’m working on now, I have a child in almost constant peril in a prison of sorts, but her tenacity keeps her scenes from being too weighty.

  2. bigwords88 said:

    Killing off characters is a bad thing now?

    Since when… 😀 Y’know, I’ve offed a fair percentage of my NaNo characters, including some who – in the hands of anyone else – would have been guaranteed to survive to the end of the story. Maybe I’m relishing the challenge of destroying a city and decimating the populace a little bit too much if you’re worried about one single character.

    I never could play nice with my toys…

  3. Writing epiphanies rock! Even the sad ones; it’s usually the sad ones that make the story that much more intense.

  4. I think that’s a great turning point for your MC! Good for you. 🙂

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