Author Journey

Death of a Character: Reasons To Character Slay in Your Book

It’s finally happened!

I have a general idea of where my fantasy series will end, the events that will happen leading up, and who will die when all is said and done.

I created a support character that I was totally okay with killing off…UNTIL I STARTED WRITING! I am at the point where I don’t want them to die, but keeping them alive would only complicate the story. Through the tears I will shed, I must press on and stick with my guns on this one.

What is the thought process behind kicking the character bucket?

Why should you kill off a well-developed character?

Creating Conflict

If this particular character will add to the ongoing conflict in your story. Characters that seem to be prospering and gaining headway are prime candidates for being buried, especially if it creates more conflict or postpones a quick resolution to your tale. It should add to the flow and give your story more substance.

Developing Another Character

Sometimes, killing off character adds to another character’s story (especially if they are EVIL). Meaning if a characters death pushes others to a certain point in the story where you are either enhancing or depleting other characters motives or personality. It will either make the reader love or hate that particular person/creature, which means for a more INVESTED reader.

Expect the Unexpected

Readers LOVE a page-turner; a story where they don’t expect their favorite MC or side character to fall off the pages (GoT Red Wedding, PRIME example). If you are developing a character that your readers can get behind, killing them off might be the perfect way to keep them turning the pages.

Remember, you don’t want to kill a character JUST BECAUSE.

Doing so will leave your story flat and might confuse the reader as to why.

So if you are going to play the game of Clue in your book, make sure you make it memorable, impactful, and adds to the overall story.

May Sol’s Light Shine Within You –


2 thoughts on “Death of a Character: Reasons To Character Slay in Your Book”

  1. If killing off a character doesn’t get a reaction from you (the author) then it probably won’t matter to the reader either. There is one particular character in my series (not my WIP) that I end up killing off too and it breaks my heart to think about it. I love that character and if I do it right, so will everybody else – which makes them a perfect candidate. But it’s like you said, you can’t do it “just because”. Ugh – that’s SO far away, who knows when/if I’ll ever get there.

    I’m excited to read your work whenever it’s finished. I’ll prepare myself now for the man tears and agony to follow. Or…is it the other way around? I don’t know, we’ll see lol.


    1. When I first had it mapped in my mind, I was just like, “Yeah, he dies. Whatever. Move on.” Now it’s like I’m clutching my laptop and belting out cries of agony. It’s our own faults but you’re right; if a death gets no reaction out of you, then it’s probably not worth doing.

      And bring on those man tears! Cry me a river!


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