Killing our Darlings – Writers on Death

Should authors kill our darlings with abandon? What do you think?

s a gibson


I wondered this week about how we writers relate to the act of ending the lives of some of our characters. Bumping off major characters has become big in fiction recently. However as authors, we do have conflicted thoughts about killing characters in our works. Sometimes we plan a character’s death, but spare them at the last second. Other times we actually want to do in a character, then can’t find the ideal way to do the deed. In trying to get a handle on these ideas, I again contacted author friends to ask their opinions.

Stephanie Barr gave me her thoughts, “I’m a character writer, so it takes a lot for me to even consider killing off a major characters. My characters do get injured and bloody and tired and stuff, but I usually find some way to squeak ’em out because, well, I love them. But I have

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