C J R Isely
To Kill A Character - and why?
It's a question I asked my readers through email and a question I have been pondering for some time. It's a question I finally decided to ask the world at large - or as large as it is on this website, anyway.
We all have read a book that left us gutted and reeling, that has that death of a beloved character that makes you ask why?
We have all wanted to (or maybe actually have) chuck a book for the loss of a character we were rooting for. We wanted to see them survive, thrive even.
Of late, I've found myself wondering though, why it seems to be more common. Is it the books I am reading or is it the authors of the day, twisting the knife between the ribs of the reader and straight to the heart?
As an author, I won't lie, there are character's that have died in my own works. Several that I actually really enjoyed, that left me torn even as I knew it was coming, wondering if I shouldn't just save them. But the reason I didn't generally had much to do with the story.
That's when the death of a character seems a little more forgivable. If the death adds to the development of a plot, of a character, of a series, I am sad but I understand. Those have to happen at times. They hurt but they had to leave in order to help the stories.
But then there are others that leave me shaking my head, even years after, asking why. Perhaps that's the reason - because death does leave us asking why in the real world. However, isn't that why we read? To enter a new world, on of magic or adventure?
I digress, I know. My blog here is a little disjointed (I'm blaming it on the fact I quit drinking coffee.)
What I really want to know is - what are you thoughts? What do you think of the death of beloved characters? Do they strike you as painful? As essential? Does some part of you believe that you need that emotional ache to connect to the story at large and to make it unforgettable? Do you feel that, in this current era of books, we are seeing a trend of killing characters to cause a buzz amongst readers?
I'd love your thoughts on the death of characters. Comment or message me, let's discuss it.