30 Days of Writing: Day Twenty-Four

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What’s the most interesting way you’ve killed someone?

I will kill a character in the first line of a story if the plot demands it.

I have, actually. And guess what? He is a main character, too, of my forever-in-progress RAF tale.

His death is the most brutal one that I’ve written–he dies of burns sustained when his Spitfire is gunned down. I don’t describe his death–no, it’s mentioned as the cause of death, but we aren’t in the cockpit with him as he receives these injuries. We aren’t in the hospital where he dies. We know he dies, we know how he dies, but we don’t see it, like his friends.

When it comes to character deaths, I’m not a ‘kill’em all’ sort of person. If the plot demands it, then yes, a character, even a primary character, will die. But I don’t kill off characters for the sake of killing off characters. I want the deaths to be poignant, I want them to affect the reader.

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