Monday, November 19, 2012

Killing the Ones We Love: an Author's Perrogative

So, it went something like this: I got into bed, kissed my husband goodnight, and closed my eyes. Then, as I am prone to do, I started writing. (In my head, of course).

Within minutes, I was in tears. Now, you have to know me to understand the significance of this. I don't generally cry unless I'm at a funeral or someone takes the last brownie when I really, really, really wanted it. So for me to just break down in tears as I'm trying to fall asleep had my husband in a panic.

"Are you pregnant?" he asked.

"Good Lord, no."

"Did Faith take the last brownie again?"

"Not if she knows what's good for her."

After a long pause, he ventured, "Did someone die?"

"No," I sniffled. "But someone's going to."

You see, I had just realized that the next day, I was going to kill a character who had been with me for six books. Six. Just the thought had my heart breaking. You should have seen me while writing the scene. The words "hot mess" come to mind.

I wonder, does every author go through this? Well, surely not every one, since I've read more than one series where so many characters die that I wonder why the author included any people in the first place. But do most authors truly grieve like this when they kill someone off?

In my mind, they should. If an author isn't emotionally invested in his or her characters, how can their readers be? Thus, I feel we should all have a grieving process for when this sort of thing comes up in our books. If you have one, I hope you'll share it with us!

As for me, I bake brownies.

How do you work through character deaths?


  1. When my characters suffer, I suffer with them. If they are in a specific mindset, I get into it and feel it too.

    I can see why an author would cry over the death of a beloved character. You spend so much time creating their world, the characters take a life of their own and yea, you are gonna feel their pain and likely mourn their fictional death. Absolutely!

    Baking brownies as a coping mechanism, huh? I'm stealing that idea, LOL.

    Jennifer @ Dream Reads

    1. Thanks for checking out the post, Jennifer! I'm SO glad to hear that other authors go through this. I appreciate you sharing! *hands over brownie*