Letting Go Of Characters

I promise, right from the start of this blog, that I will NOT start singing, “Let It Go.” So now that we’ve got that out of the way, to the point!

When I’m planning a story or a book, I often decide ahead of time which characters are going to die, if the story calls for some death. Then I start writing. I write everything just like I planned, all the ups and downs, all the character development, all that stuff. Then I come to the crucial moment. The time has come. A character has to die. Only problem is… I’ve started to like the character!

I’m not going to go into any specifics, just in case you’re currently reading my books, so don’t worry, no spoilers. But I find myself in a strangely emotional situation. Here I am, distressed about the impending death of this character, who, by the way, is completely made up, and I’m trying to think of ways I can save their life. Yeah, save the life of a fictional person I invented. The more I think about it, the weirder it seems that I’m upset at the thought of this character’s “death.”

If you’re like me and you read the ‘Harry Potter’ series, you would know about when Sirius Black died. If you’re like me, then this would have made you sad, right? On the verge of tears, wishing it wasn’t true, going into denial, all that. This is how I am right now with my own character. I want them to live, I really do. But for the sake of the story’s progression, they absolutely have to die.

I find it strange that, as a writer, I end up in this situation. It’s like when as a kid, your favourite stuffed toy gets ruined. Like the dog ate it or it ended up in the dishwasher somehow and got shredded. It’s like a close friend or relative died. Except in this case, I’m technically the one killing them.

If any other writers are reading this, please let me know in the comments if you’ve ever been in a similar situation, where you have written the death of a character and it really upset you. I’m interested to see if this is normal, or if I’m just a big pansy.


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