Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sunday Musings: August 31 2014

Have you mused?

To the best of my knowledge, Shakespeare wrote:

To be or not to be
That is the question... kill your character or not to kill your character
That's an author's question.


"to be or not to be," Hamlet was actually talking about suicide. But to kill a character, tough call. If you make the reader love this character, making them cry can be cool. Hopefully they have other characters they love in the story. If the reader has lost someone dear maybe they can relate. Making the book more real, bringing it off the pages.

I don't kill primary protagonists.  To my mind, that is a betrayal of the reader (not to mention the characters).  It's a rare occurrence for me to kill secondary important characters; I've done it only once.  Antagonists, true black-hearted villains, are another story.  They usually die either in the book or off stage (aka formal execution, actual or anticipated).

I kill multiple characters in each of my mysteries, sometimes shown explicitly. One of my best murders was what I would call a psychological murder. However as it stands right now, I wouldn't kill my protagonist. Kay Driscoll has had multiple attempts on her life, but has always far.

I killed a major character in the first Aleyne novel, "Relocated." It wasn't my intention to do so when I planned the novel, but as I wrote the first draft, it became clear to me that it was necessary.

DAWN KNOX, author

I don't usually kill off main characters although a secondary character in 'Daffodil and the Thin Place' gets his  comeuppance. I have written some horror and dark stories where the protagonist dies but I don't think after what's revealed in the story, the reader would be too disappointed. I like the idea of good winning out in the end.

So far I haven't killed off a major character in any of my published novels but two important ones are murdered in my unpublished mediaeval novel which I will complete the final revision after I finish Monday's Child the sequel to Sunday's Child, a Regency novel,

MEG AMOR, author

Aloha everyone! :-)

I can't stand killing off characters. It's one of my things. I don't mind a baddie dying. I usually am quite cheerful about those, but not a good character. I'm always dissapointed when it happens, so I don't do it myself. 

In the TV series Luther, they killed off Luther's right hand man and I was frankly, not impressed. It actually ruined the end for me. I do often read the end of a book first, to check who's still standing. Then I can relax and read the whole book through. :-)

So, for this reason. Henry's mother was about 102 at last count. LOL. But very sprightly!!! LOL

I killed off one of my semi-main characters, Freddy, and eleven of his cohorts in my only novel…so far.  My novel is a tween story, so maybe that was not such a good idea.  But, considering he was one of the twelve roosters in All Because of Chickens, maybe he and they do not qualify.  By the way, I have it from a good source, that he was pretty tasty!

'Kill off.' That depends on the definition.
When required, characters die. It's a part of life. I've written a saga which spans generations.
I don't want my characters living to 150 years of age simply because I like them. Death keeps things realistic.

When I'm writing, I've never set out to kill any of my characters. Especially not in my first book. When I wrote the scene where Sir Maldwyn died, it was because I felt it needed to be written. His death and other characters' reactions to it told a lot about each of them. It also made my main character realize she was living in a harsh and violent world and made her think about some choices she had to make. Since then, I've realized death scenes can be emotional and touching and revealing.

Anne and I killed off a favorite character once and it was so traumatic for us and the other characters that we found a way to bring him back.

Yes, I have ‘yelled’ at my authors for scaring me when they have either killed or appeared to have killed a character.


See comment as editor.

Also, wrote entire review in this ‘oh no you didn’t’ voice once.


Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at

1 comment:

John B. Rosenman said...

Well, I killed off a semi-major character in Book II of my Inspector of the Cross series although I didn't because in Book III she was reborn in a way. However, at the end of Book III... well, I won't go into that. If you kill off a MAJOR character, a member of the front row cast, you'd better be darn sure you know what you're doing because readers may desert you. Now in Game of Thrones, with so many characters, the author may be able to pick off characters like he's in a shooting gallery. Otherwise, be careful.