This week’s blog hop topic is How do you feel about killing off one of your major characters?
I have only written one novel and ninety two percent of one (based on my current word count estimation) so I don’t have vast experience of killing off a main character in a novel. My adult writing is mainly in the paranormal, supernatural fantasy and horror genres so death is likely and expected in my books and stories. You can’t have a ghost unless there is a death, can you?
In Through the Nethergate, the main character, sixteen year old Margaret, does not die, but many of the supporting characters are already dead as they are reincarnated ghosts. This book provides details about a number of their deaths, which are unpleasant or they wouldn’t be ghosts. People who die naturally in their beds one night don’t usually take to haunting an inn, mansion or castle.
I didn’t mind writing about their deaths at all; I have always enjoyed paranormal, supernatural and horror so I am used to reading about deaths so it isn’t that difficult for me to write it. I don’t believe my death scenes are overly gory as I am not a fan of deaths by ax murderers and the like, I am more into deaths by starvation or drowning.
My WIP, A ghost and his gold, also includes ghosts and their deaths, but my main character in this book is also probably going to survive, although I’m not finished writing yet so I can’t say for sure. I think readers prefer a book to end on a positive note so I doubt Michelle will die.
I have written a number of short stories and these have all included deaths. Dark Visions, a horror anthology edited by Dan Alatorre, includes my stories, The Haunting of William and The Willow Tree. Both of these stories have murders in them and The Haunting of William also has a suicide.
My three stories in Death Among Us all include deaths of various types and are all based on real historical events and people. Amelia Dyer is a well know British baby murderer from the 19th century and my story, Justice is never served, is a fictionalised account of her arrest, trial and death by hanging. The murder of the monk is a fictionalised account of the last attempt by the Abbot of Glastonbury to stave off the destruction of Glastonbury Monastery in the 16th century. My final story, an eye for an eye is about the murder of a female master chimney sweep who abuses her indentured climbing boys (child chimney sweeps). I really enjoyed writing these stories and doing the necessary historical research. The deaths in the stories were necessary and did not bother me.
My two fictional stories in my latest anthology, Whispers of the Past, include murder and death from unusual medical conditions. I enjoyed research bee allergies and rabies in humans for these two stories, The Last of the Lavender and Missed Signs.
How do you feel about killing off your main characters? Find out what other authors think about this here:
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