Friday, March 18, 2011

Do I Kill Them?

I haven't been posting on here and I feel absolutely horrible about it, but I've had a lot of school work to do lately. But now it's Spring Break, and that means time to WRITE.

This leads me to my topic today- killing off characters.
Nobody likes doing it (well... sometimes it's fun, but that's a different topic for a different day)

So now is the (not so) funny story portion of this post-
The other morning I was standing in my kitchen eating breakfast when BAM. I got a bit of dialogue for my Work In Progress. I don't know where this dialogue fits into the story, but I know it's vital that it ends up being a part of the story. I threw down my mashed potatoes (Yes, I had them for breakfast. Stop judging me.) and started typing away on my computer. By the end of the scene, I had typed about 500 words and when I read it over, I realized something. Because of this conversation, I couldn't kill of the character I was planning on killing off.
This may not be a big deal, but for the first 5,000 words of my WIP, I thought this character was going to die. And now I have to come to terms that I will be stuck with him for the whole of my WIP.

So now on to the discussion portion of this post.

I'm not one of those people who are good at killing off characters. I always nearly talk myself out of it because I love my characters, even the evil ones. One of the hardest choices I have ever made in writing is trying to decide if I should kill off some of the people I write. I've always talked myself out of it because "they were nice characters" and "killing them off wouldn't help develop the story".
It wasn't until writing that dialogue did I actually have a full grasp of why I shouldn't kill off this character. Like... if I killed him off, then I'm pretty sure my MC would go crazy and become more of an introvert than she already is.

So I'm wondering how you all handle it. Are you good at killing them off? Bad? You could really care less? Do you just... not believe in killing off characters? Do you swear by it? I'd love to know!