Character death in fiction

In the 14 years that I considered myself as a “dedicated reader” I have never quite understood reader and author avoidance to character death. I understand that readers (I’m as guilty of this as anyone) become overly attached to characters. To see them suddenly killed off leaves us screaming at the pages and the author. But is this really a bad thing? Do we always want to see favourite characters linger in terrible circumstances, or worse, a drawn out half-baked plot? Gratuitous killing is undesirable, of course, but I oft prefer to see a character die when they have finished their plot purpose, than simply see them move on purposeless because readers simply want to see them more.

It is this philosophy that guided me through Darkness Rising. Most of my “main” characters survived the narrative, but a plethora of side and supporting characters met their end. Plot purpose is the reason. So when some of you saw a more pacified writer in Sea of Storms, I hope you did not see it as a change in philosophy. I still very much believe when major characters have no more interesting stories to tell, they should meet some sort of end as befits their character.

Most of my notes for Heart of the Sand are quite bloody. It should be fun.

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