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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Not-So Happy Ending: Killing Off Main Characters

I'm working on a novel for Camp NaNoWriMo. It is an idea I've had for a long time. It's about a Princess who gets tired of waiting for her Prince to rescue her. It's about how her story is all wrong and is not going the way it's supposed to. It's about her journey to try and figure out what is wrong with her. It's about her running from a terrible choice she made. She is a Princess and is not sure exactly what that means anymore.

Woe is me! I know not what being a Princess means!

Now, some of you may be aware: I kill characters.


There are few stories where I don't kill off someone. In fact, I want to write a story where I keep killing off the narrator. But generally I don't have terrible endings. I believe in hope. I believe in happy endings. Maybe bittersweet endings. But I don't believe in Romeo and Juliet endings.

I'm sorry... But I find their story so pathetic :(

This story I'm working on could have two possible endings. There is the bittersweet ending or there is the Romeo and Juliet ending. And you know what? I really, really want to go with the terrible, terrible, kill off the main character ending.

I told my mom this and she said, "That would be a bold choice." I know that bold can just be a synonym for suicidal, so I was curious.

What do you think of terribly sad endings? How do you feel about writers killing off the main character at the end? I mean, it's not an easy choice. This is the character you've made your reader character about. This is the person they've cheered for, cried for, cared for. Killing them off? Such an action can kill writer's and their careers.

Thus I came here, curious about what you guys think about killing characters. Should only minor characters die, or would you be okay with a main character being killed off at the end??