Hello wonderful readers! Today I have a special nugget for you in our Character Series brought to you by one of my favorite people and #writenight authors, Christen Krumm. She is a book lover, YA fiction author, a Litfuse Publicity Group‘s Nester, a lover of coffee, tea, and reading. She has a super-hero husband, a daughter Elsie, and two sons Drew & Oliver.
“WARNING: If you haven’t read/seen Game of Thrones or Harry Potter (aka: living under a rock like me) you may not want to continue reading as there are HUGE spoilers. You have been warned.
Confession: I love tragic romances. I love killing characters – especially the main ones or the love interest (and with that, 75% of potential readers just walked out the door). In my first book, The Black Knight (working title), there are a whole lot of character deaths. Some of these had to die prior to the story beginning and others had to for the story to progress, but what happens when you have to kill that one darling character you want to hold on to? How do you axe them without losing your readers?
First, you are not going to be able to please 100% of your readers 100% of the time. I can’t promise the readers who adore you will not throw your book across the room when they reach that pivotal point of death for your character. As authors sometimes we just have to take that leap. We have to do what our hearts (and characters) are telling us.
There are also wrong ways to go about killing your characters. I think George R. R. Martin (creator of Game of Thrones) has this down. From what I hear, (yeah, I’ve never seen/read this series) if fans start liking a character too much, he kills them. “I will create character you love then kill them all,” he says. I, for one, say this is a horrible idea, but then again look at the following he has. So maybe he does have a point. Maybe this is actually brilliance. *Mentally makes note to kill all the darlings.*
And then, there are those character’s deaths that are a huge plot twist no on saw coming, but have to happen to continue moving the plot. The best example I can come up with -the killing of Dumbledore in The Half Blood Prince. Just think about it. If Dumbledore hadn’t died, Harry wouldn’t have grown into the man he needed to be to defeat Voldemort. Not to mention the Elder Wand’s progression from a unknowing Draco Malfoy to Harry Potter – bypassing Voldemort – no matter his efforts. The series just couldn’t have gone on without the death of this very special character (and tell me you didn’t throw the book across the room when it happened)! Now as for the other 92 deaths in the Harry Potter series (note: exaggeration)…I’m not sure I agree they had to happen, but eh, I wasn’t the author. Had I been, well, I wouldn’t be blogging about it now would I?
In the words of Albus Dumbledore, “Sometimes we must choose between what is right and what is easy.” Sometimes the right thing may be to save the day, and sometimes the right thing is to kill the beloved character. It won’t be easy (it never is), but it is the right thing.”
Thank you Christen for such a fun post! Leave a comment for Christen below, or check her out over at her blog: christenkrumm.com. If you liked what you read today, stick around and get to know Christen a little better on Feature Fridays this week!