Provocative title, right?
As a writer, and I’m sure many can emphasize with me, having spent an embarrassing amount of time alone, with a fictitious character, living inside their mind, thinking as they do, speaking through them, ultimately knowing your going to kill them for dramatic effect, is a unique internal conflict on many levels.
Before the flood of comments come in telling me to grip on reality, let me assure you, I’m a grounded, well adjusted individual (at least I hope so).
Having finished my first draft on a novel, nearing the last twenty pages on my second pass, I realize that killing off a main character not only adds emotional depth, but fits the story. I’m not reliant on detailed outlines, so, I revise heavily, which gave me hope that my initial offing of a beloved character was unnecessary. But, I was wrong, and he has to die. Perhaps its because I injected so much of myself in him (ha), or the realization I’m about to lose this particular character construct that I enjoyed writing with. In either instance, it genuinely makes me a little sad, which is a little concerning to admit. Because, after all, he was never real!
I’m hoping other writers out there have experienced this before. For me, its a first. This is my first project that I have written with the intent to have others read, and hopefully enjoy it, so I invested a lot energy and effort in it. And, if I could ask more experienced writers than myself, does this happen every time? Or do you grow more callous towards killing characters you’ve grown too, dare I say, love?