Tag Archives: death

My Most Difficult Female Character Deaths

When you read a book, most likely you’ll get attached to some of the characters. And then some of them die. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Well, in today’s VEDA video, I talked about 4 female characters that I really did not want to happen. Why only female? I’ve found that there aren’t many male deaths that have affected me. There are a couple, but I don’t think it’s enough for a video.

If you want to know which characters they are, then you must watch this video. But be warned that there are spoilers! If you don’t want to be spoiled, then don’t watch. The books featured are:

  • Angel Fire East, by Terry Brooks
  • The Rise of Endymion, by Dan Simmons
  • The Elfstones of Shannara, by Terry Brooks
  • Dragonsdawn, by Anne McCaffrey

I won’t mention the characters, but you can find out if you watch.

If you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you thought of these characters’ deaths without giving any specifics about the names or how they died in the comments section below. Also, don’t tell me about any other characters in different books, because I don’t like spoilers, either!

Authors Answer 111 – Killing Off Main Characters

Sometimes, main characters die. While reading, maybe your favourite character dies. Doesn’t feel good, does it? Do you go into mourning? Do you cry? But what if the author is killing the main character? How do they feel?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 111: How do you (or would you) feel when you kill a main character?

H. Anthe Davis

First, I laugh maniacally.  Second, I think of how my beta readers (and then my actual readers) will take it.  Then I laugh maniacally again, while trying to figure out how best to defend myself from irate friends/coworkers/fans.  …Seriously, I kill a lot of characters.

C E Aylett

Well, that depends on who the main character is. If you mean a protag, I don’t think I’ve ever killed one yet. A main character that isn’t a protag, yes, I have. Love killing off the villains — but that’s because they are so horrible! I really make them deserve it. There’s definitely a lot of ‘Take that you F**ker!’ when I’m writing those scenes. Ahem.

Beth Aman

I’ve only killed one main character so far, and it was fantastic.  Her death is a very emotional moment for the other characters, and I loved playing with words and feelings and denial and darkness.  The scene makes me cry whenever I read it.  Emotionally-charged scenes are just cool to write, so I enjoyed it.  A lot.

D. T. Nova

Tense, no matter what. I can’t stay relaxed when I know I’m about to write a death.

I have characters that I know I couldn’t kill off without feeling sad and probably a little guilty.

Eric Wood

I’m as emotionally stoic as my character. Only once did I write I write a story where I killed a character. Since I knew the outcome, I wrote the story accordingly to get that point of death. I felt as cold-hearted as the character who was to blame because I knew I was out to kill. Please don’t contact the FBI.

Jean Davis

Killing someone I’ve spent a lot of time with and formed an attachment to isn’t exactly fun. It can be emotionally exhausting to write. I recently killed a secondary character I’ve been writing for many years and two books. It was hard to write but I hope his death was worth it for the series as a whole.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I don’t usually feel hurt about it, as cold as that sounds. I worry more about getting the death right and making it meaningful. I doubt want to give the impression that I’m killing characters for the sake of being edgy, but I want it known that important people will have to die in the right circumstances.

Paul B. Spence

Ask Shadovsky. It feels like killing a part of myself. I have done it, will do it if the story calls for it, but I don’t like it when a main character dies for no good reason. I’ve thrown books across the room when reading for far less.

Cyrus Keith

I mourn. Honestly. I get attached to my main characters, and when I have to kill one, it’s like I’m losing a friend. I was so down after losing one in particular, I was down for two weeks.

Gregory S. Close

It feels terrible.  I wrote all of In Siege of Daylight without even admitting to myself which characters were likely to die, because I didn’t want to unconsciously telegraph my knowledge of their impending demise in the writing – and then I ended up killing even more just because that’s where the story led.

One minor character in particular met a brutal and sudden fate that I didn’t see coming.  I had plans for that character!  Interactions in my head!  A life planned!  And that’s why it felt more real.  If you only kill the obvious redshirts, then the death loses significance to the author and the reader.  Feeling terrible about it helps make it more genuine.  Maybe even more so than the demise of main characters, whose fates are largely bigger than life and tied into grander things.  It still feels terrible to kill a main character, but maybe the blow is softened a bit by its deeper connection to the narrative.

Hmmm.  I guess that makes the author Fate.  When I’ve fated a main character to die because of the PLOT, I have time to come to terms with it.  It’s written in the stars.  When I allow it to happen in the evolution of a scene, that’s more akin to happenstance.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

It depends on the character, for sure. I’ve killed off characters that didn’t affect me in the slightest – it just felt like an obvious  part of the story that needed to occur. On the other hand, I’ve killed off characters (or planned to kill of characters) that I’d gotten extremely attached to and it felt like a huge punch in the gut to do it. I like writing dramatic stuff, but sometimes a character starts to feel like a real person, and in those cases it can be extremely difficult to go through with a death.

Jay Dee Archer

If it’s a character I love, I’d probably feel awful about it. But on the other hand, I’d be curious about how my readers would react to it. IF it’s a character I hate, I’d probably feel wonderful and have a lot of fun writing the scene. There is a character I’m killing off soon in what I’m writing, and although he is a main character, his death is an important moment that will affect the direction of the story and the attitudes of the other characters. But how do I feel about it? I’m very curious about reactions. I don’t hate the character. I’d just always planned to have him die, so I’ve been trying not to become attached to him.

How about you?

If you’re an author, how do you feel when you kill off a main character? If you’re a reader, how do you feel when a main character is killed? Let us know in the comments below.

Goodbye, Old Friend

Not a happy day for us.


Sixteen and a half years old, Romeo left us today. I’m feeling quite down while my daughter says, “Are you sad? Do you miss Romeo? It’ll be okay. I love you.” Then she gives me a big hug. My four year old is stronger? But I’m not sure if she understands how final this is. 

I’ll be making a couple videos this weekend. One about Romeo and one about Tommy’s first day of school. Look for them when they’re done. 

It’s Hard to See a Pet Grow Old

My sister’s dog is 16 years old. I watch him sleeping most of the time, and when he is awake, he needs to eat, pee, or poop. He doesn’t really play much anymore, though he does at times. Sometimes he acts like a puppy. But most of the time, he groans and cries as he tries to lie down and sleep. He wears a cone right now because he keeps licking a growth (it’s actually an oil gland) and making it bleed. He’s partly blind and mostly deaf. He has trouble going down the stairs, but seems to have no trouble going up quickly. He can still run and be active, so he’s physically reasonably healthy for his age.

But we wonder how long he’ll last. It’s hard to think about it. But it makes me think about three and a half years ago when our dog, Biscuit, died. You can read about it here.

What are your experiences with losing a pet? Let me know in the comments below.

Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin Dead at 27

An unfortunate accident in his own driveway caused the death of Anton Yelchin. He was hit by his own Jeep, which was in neutral, and it pinned and crushed him when it rolled back toward him. I hate hearing news like this. Far too young.

Zachary Quinto had this to say on Instagram:

Condolences to his family and friends. The Daily Mail has a fairly detailed story with pictures.

From School to an Accident Scene

It was an interesting night. Tonight was the night that we went to the parent orientation night at my daughter’s school. That was fine, and I learned a lot about what’s going to happen. However, there was something that happened that left a far bigger impression on my mind.

As we were walking to the school, we saw a police car going past with its lights on. No siren, though. We were wondering what happened. After the orientation, we were walking home when we saw the police were up the street. It was more than an hour after we saw the police, so something must have happened. We walked in that direction, and saw that the street had been blocked off. Six police cars. We continued walking, going to the supermarket. We also saw a motorcycle, a couple of cars, and something that looked like a bag.

On our way back home, we walked past the police again. There was a fire truck. But we didn’t know what had happened yet. So, I did a search online. What I found was a police report about the incident.

There was an accident. A dirt bike crashed into a fence, and the rider, a forty-year-old man died. Well then, that was unexpected. I wonder why he crashed into the fence.

Kumamoto Earthquake, Something I Left Behind

When I lived in Japan, I experienced earthquakes frequently. I went through the big one on March 11th, 2011. But on April 14th, Kumamoto went through its own big earthquake.

Nine people are dead, mainly because of collapsed houses. It’s really strange reading all the comments on Facebook and reading the news articles. I used to be the one to write those comments about earthquakes, but now I don’t feel them. There are no earthquakes here. It really is strange not going through them anymore.

In a way, I miss earthquakes. Does that sound strange? What do you think?

And Now Alan Rickman

Everyone’s favourite bad guy actor, Alan Rickman, has passed away. Yet another famous male British celebrity has died of cancer at the age of 69. I hope this doesn’t keep happening.

This was also totally unexpected. I had no idea he was sick. And he’s been active with movie roles up to recently. He has a movie coming out this year, too. I loved him in Harry Potter as Severus Snape, and he’s been in several well-known movies, such as Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, and Galaxy Quest.

Here’s the announcement by BBC.

What do you think is his most memorable role?

David Bowie Was an Oddity

Today, David Bowie passed away after an eighteen month battle with cancer. It was completely unexpected. No one knew he was sick. He even released an album just a few days ago. I can’t say I was a fan of his, but he’s the kind of person that can affect or influence pretty much anyone in some way.

When I was a kid, and I saw him on TV, there was some kind of attraction to his showmanship. He was strange. He was an oddity. And the fact that many of his songs had something to do with space just made him even more of an attractive singer and musician. I loved space, and he was just one really weird person who kept appearing on TV. I may have only been around five, six, or seven years old, but whenever I was asked who my favourite singer was, I’d say David Bowie. Not because I liked his music, but because he was weird.

And now he is gone. Many people I know were taken by complete surprise. He had this image that was immortal. He wasn’t supposed to die. He’s supposed to live forever. Of course, that’s not possible, but he just gave off that feeling.

I thought this song of his was kind of appropriate for today.

Goodbye, Starman. You were a space oddity.

Authors Answer 54 – Torturing Our Characters

Friday the 13th, a day that brings horror and terror into people’s lives. Or is that the movie series? Our authors write a variety of genres, from supernatural to horror to fantasy to military sci-fi to children’s books. Sounds like the perfect mix to talk about torture in fiction. I mean, children are torture, aren’t they? I know, I have one. But I’m just kidding. The question is, just how many of us could torture a character?

torturerack

Question 54 – It’s Friday the 13th. Horror is a popular genre. Could you torture one of your characters?

Linda G. Hill

I could. In fact, depending on which character it is, I might enjoy it. But really, we torture our characters all the time, in one way or another. It’s what makes an interesting story.

Gregory S. Close

Yes.  I don’t feel good about it, but sometimes that’s where the story goes.

One of my beta readers for In Siege of Daylight said that the Postlude was one of the most disturbing things he’d ever read.  I agreed.  I was disturbed writing it, too.  It didn’t depict torture so much as the hollowed out shell of a person that had been subjected to long term, sustained, physical and psychological torture.  The leftover human being that results from that is a little disquieting.

But hey, foreshadowing for the sequel and all that… oops.  Spoiler alert.

Caren Rich

Yes! An evil twinkle shines in her eye. I enjoy writing cruel scenes. I don’t have many per book, maybe one, but they are fun to write. There’s something freeing about exploring the darker side of human nature.

S. R. Carrillo

Disregarding the fact that I already do that with each new chapter, YES. I absolutely love torturing my characters. Demonic possession? Check. Slow descent into insanity? Check. Spectral haunting? Check. Struggles with sexuality and identity? Check and check. Wrestling with the unearthly? Double check on that. Torture’s the best – it’s what gives a story palpable tension, emotion and drive.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’m sure I could, if the story called for it.  The closest I’ve come is in my short story “Swamp Gas,” in which a man was dumped outside in an area full of nasty nerve gases and neurotoxins that made for a painful death.

D. T. Nova

I don’t know. It would be very difficult to write, in more ways than one.

Jean Davis

Oh yes. I’ve done a lot of character torture, physical and mental. The characters I like best seem to suffer the most. That probably says something about me that I’d rather not dwell on.

Eric Wood

Yep. Though it would be out of the genre I typically write in. A children’s book with torture wouldn’t be be too popular (or a children’s book?). I did write one piece involving some domestic violence in which a character was tortured. Though, in the story, the character’s torture wasn’t described, just implied. I have difficulty writing gruesome.

Paul B. Spence

Hmm. Have you ever read one of my books? As much as it pains me, my characters get tortured and mangled all the time. Since the stories deal with people fighting what are, for all practical purposes, extradimensional daemons, horror seems a natural part of my stories.

Allen Tiffany

Sadly it has happened. 😦

…and it will again.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Abso-freakin’-lutely. Call me a maniac if you will, but one of my favorite things to do is torture my characters. That’s part of why I love writing horror and creepy stuff; you get to just mercilessly screw with your characters around every turn.

And, okay, this is going to be hard to explain, but I love writing scenes that absolutely torture a character because I love writing emotional reactions and instinctual responses. You get the same kind of thing with a really intimate love scene, but I prefer the horrible stuff because I love writing about the sweat and the tears, the moments when the character snaps, the moments when the character digs deep to press on, the moments of abstract horror and disgust, the moments of adrenaline-fueled bravery. Torturing your characters brings out who they are. Are they a weak, pathetic waste of space, or are they the hero who will persevere no matter what happens? Torture the living hell out of them and you’ll find out.

H. Anthe Davis

Absolutely.  I’ve tortured many of them already — if not in body, then certainly in mind.  Nightmares are my joy.  I particularly like tormenting my leader-type characters by having horrible things happen to their subordinates; one or two instances of that and they begin neatly torturing themselves.  But then, I -am- writing what I would consider fantasy/horror, so it’s a necessity.  There’s some gore but I’ve always preferred the psychological angle.

Jay Dee Archer

Oh, definitely. I write science fiction, and have some fantasy stories to write. All of these contain some element of danger, death, and torture. If the story calls for it, I will torture a character or two or several. I will torture the main character, I will torture the innocent bystanders, I will torture the antagonist. No one is safe from torture.

I have read many books where main characters are tortured, both physically and mentally, and the effect is immediately apparent on me. I don’t like seeing it happen, but I can’t stop reading. I want them to break free and somehow get back at the torturer. Just look around at what’s popular on TV these days. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are filled with death and different ways to torture characters. For some reason, people love to watch it and suffer with their favourite characters.

So, yes, I will torture characters, but only when necessary.

How about you?

If you write, can you torture your characters? If you read, what is it about torture and death scenes that make you want to continue reading? Or does it turn you off of the story? Share your opinions in the comments below!