3 Ways to Write a Devastating Character Death


Also known as "The Post in Which I am Extremely Evil and Teach You How to be Evil, Too".

1. Leave one of their major goals unfinished - and not just a generic goal that everyone has, like "save the princess" or "defeat the dragon". Give them a goal that both they and the reader become very personally invested in, and then TERMINATE THEM BEFORE THEY CAN COMPLETE IT.

2. Make them likable. Have the audience feel a connection to them! Make the audience want to adopt and protect them! Make the audience emotionally invested in their health and well-being! THEN MURDER THEM.

3. Have them die a heroic (or pointless) death. Saving another likable character is always a good option, as is saving the dog. (Everyone loves the dog.) OR you can go the 100% evil route and have their death mean nothing. There's no consolation of "well, at least it served some good". NO. It just makes everyone else sad or furthers the villain's goals. No help to the side you're rooting for.

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So, let's chat! What character deaths have scarred you the most? Do you often kill your characters while writing? And, if you celebrate Christmas, what are your plans? What gifts have you asked for? Comment below, and remember that you are all very beautiful pickles.

Namarië,
Ellie

6 comments:

  1. YAY I LOVE BEING EVIL! >=D (<---- my evil face lol)
    in my novel there's this random battle and one of my favorite characters gets stabbed with a spear so sometimes while re-reading the chapter i stab my paper with a pencil pretending it's a spear.... whelp that concludes today's version of "izzy the twelve year old being violent to a piece of paper" *jazz hands* *runs before you get freaked out* xD
    ~izzy

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    1. IT IS A VERY EXCELLENT EVIL FACE.

      Oh my god, that sounds like something I would do. IT HELPS WITH THE IMMERSION, WE'RE NOT INSANE.

      Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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  2. So I read your discussion question kind of as "do you like killing characters and what are your plans for christmas" like I might have SUPER MASSIVE PLANS to kill all the characters in the spirit of christmas.😂😂 WHICH IS TRUE, BASICALLY, I DO AHEM. ;D But yesss to all these reasons! I think the worst for me is the "pointless deaths". They always hit so hard and i will descend into a crying tornado. But like they ARE realistic which is why I like it when books do put them in. People die and it's unfair and it doesn't make sense. Not everyone gets "a good death". And omg Game of Thrones? Sooo many pointless deaths that just made me scream.

    I do a lot of Grand Finale Deaths, so like the character gets THIS CLOSE to having a Happily Ever After and then BOOM. I'm the worst.😂

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    1. I MEAN OBVIOUSLY, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO ON CHRISTMAS.

      Remind me to never read one of your books XD

      - Ellie

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  3. You are very very mean. I love it.

    I don't think I've written a character's death yet, but I've mostly been writing contemporary so that doesn't leave a lot of room (unless you're Cait). But I do have a scene coming up! I think the most terrible death scenes are Fred and Sirius. ;__;

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    1. Thank you!

      I write a lot, but that's because I primarily do fantasy. Thus far, I have at least five written and three planned. Oh yes, unless you're Cait. XD Ahhh best of luck with your scene!

      SIRIUS. AHHHH.

      - Ellie

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