Friday, January 28, 2011

Fess Up Friday: To Kill Or Not To Kill

Confession: I am a HUGE Southland fan. 

What is Southland? The most awesome cop show ever. 

Why? Because it's awesome.

Okay, okay... I'm not making much sense, BUT trust me. Grittiest streets of L.A. + Flawed yet relatable characters + Emotionally charged plot arcs + Up-close filming that makes you feel like you're in the scene =

AND Ben McKenzie from The O.C. in it. *fist pump*

So. Why I am talking to you about Southland today, you ask? In this week's (super awesome) episode, a character died. A character I l-o-v-e-d. But this character's death was important to move other stories forward. To make other characters change their priorities and reevaluate who they really are. 

Even so, the death hurt me. A lot. *sobs*

That got me thinking about books. Specifically, about creating characters we become attached to as writers, then having to let them go in order to propel the plot in the best direction for the story. 

This week's question: how do you choose which characters to kill in your stories? Do you like dropping the axe on them, or do you sob like me?

Oh, and quick reminder: Operation Awesome's Across the Universe giveaway is still in full swing!!


  1. Oh, I have been thinking about this a lot lately! A character you know will probably die in the next few chapters of my WIP and I'm having an internal conflict over it. Does this character really NEED to die? Is there another way to work out the climax? Le sigh. It's tough being God sometimes. ;)

  2. Ben is the whole reason I started watching Southland for sure! I crushed on him hard core when he was in the O.C.
    Killing characters...I sob. Uncontrollably. Same with when I type "The End." My husband laughs at me...but I'm ok with that.

  3. There was a character in Leah Cypess's MISTWOOD that I loved, who died. I won't spoil the book by telling you which one!

    If anyone dies in my books, I usually know well in advance who it is and how it will happen. I don't kill people off spontaneously.

  4. *Grumpy face* I don't think we have Southland here yet. Fingers crossed though. :)

    Um, I have no problems in killing a character I love (or a character someone else I know loves - mwhahaha). But, like Jennifer said, I know who it will be in advance and, like in Southland, I do it for story reasons.

  5. I don't mind killing characters (although I do often plan them in advance) -- but what I love more is putting them through physical tortures. :)

  6. I do terrible things to my characters, and I do kill them when it's necessary for the story. I've cried at least once, but that wasn't when the character died; it was when another character had to say goodbye.