A Character’s Death

This is not in reference to a murder mystery or crime novel where you need a random person to die for the story to occur or to continue. This is in reference to killing a character that has more interaction in the plot than a minor sub character. Killing that character should mean something.

As writers, we become attached to our characters. They become our family, our children. We become very invested in their lives as we write out the pages. So, I ask you – if you have a character death can you please not let that death be pointless? I value human life, and that includes the fictional character’s lives as well. Can you weave in the writing so that it means something to the main character or to the plot? Can you make it symbolize something of the main character’s personal journey? Or relate in a parallel situation?

The book series of Harry Potter has many deaths within its pages. Each one can make the reader cringe or cry. Consider picture below.

hp deaths

Also dealing with parallelism in Harry Potter – consider the fourth book – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The movie shows this, but I have not verified it with the book. In the beginning when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in the campground (movie version) and the dark mark is cast into the sky. The wizard’s shoot stunning spells are the trio. Mr. Weasley shouts “That’s my son”. They cease-fire to question them. Now, speed up to the near end of the movie when Harry brings back Cedric’s body. You hear the heart-wrenching cry of Mr. Diggory “That’s my son, that’s my boy”. Two fathers from opposite ends of the same village, dealing with two completely and, yet, eerie similar situations, shouting similar words. If you have a death, make it mean something. Don’t waste a life unless something can come from it.

L.R. Mauck

(Sorry for the long delay in posting. It’s been a busy time of year at both of my jobs.)

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Author: lrmauck

Over the last decade, I have received several positive feedbacks on my stories and one college professor encouraging me to pursue a career as a writer. I have attended a few elective writing classes at IUS to help hone in on my skills. I have recently attended Kentucky Writing Workshop in Louisville, KY where I learned more hands-on experience and encouragement from other writers. I currently resides in southern Indiana with my four fur babies. Follow me on twitter at: @lrmauck

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