How To Killing Characters In Novels

How to Killing Characters in Novel

Killing characters in the novel cannot be done carelessly. As a writer, there are various important things that you should consider before deciding to kill one of the characters. Without the right reason, turning off the characters in the story will actually make your whole story flawed.

Then, what exactly should a writer consider before killing a character in the story he is writing?

Do you have an interesting life story to tell into a novel but are confused about how to write it?

Reasons for Killing Characters in Novels That Are Right and Permissible to Do

killing characters

As a writer, of course you already know how to create characters in a novel and bring them to life in the story. But what’s interesting is, it turns out that not all writers understand well how to turn off the character they have created. Therefore, sometimes it is often found that the disappearance or death of one character in the story turns out to kill the story as well.

There are various considerations that you must understand first before deciding to kill one of the story characters. Considerations for killing are sometimes far more difficult than how to introduce the characters in the novel itself. Fatally, the hesitation to turn off or let the characters in the story also lead to writer’s block which will interfere with your own productivity.

In the following, several reasons for killing characters in the story will be presented and an explanation of why these reasons can be justified. At the same time, you can also learn that for reasons that are not sound, killing characters in the story would be dangerous.

1. Developing the Story Plot

The first reason that is justified for killing one of the characters in the story you write is because it can develop the plot or storyline. In this case, the death or disappearance of these characters will make the storyline more developed.

Your focus on the first reason is to ask a few questions as follows;

  • Does the death of the character or characters make the storyline more interesting?
  • What’s the best way to remove this character from the story?
  • What kind of death would be appropriate to kill him?
  • How much impact will it have on the whole story with the death of one of the characters in the story?

If then you get the answer that killing one of the characters actually makes the story you write more interesting. So, now all you have to do is plan the assassination of that character.

2. Providing Motivation to Other Characters

Furthermore, the second reason that it is permissible to kill a character in a novel is if it has a motivational impact on other characters. In famous films and novels, character deaths like this are quite common.

You can probably imagine it already, right?

When the death of a character in the story you wrote will raise another character’s motivation that is more important, then you can kill him.

Make sure again that the storyline and relationships between characters are clear and relevant so that the emergence of these motivations does not seem forced.

3. Fulfilling the Antagonist Character Perfection

Now this reason is most often done to build stories in writing novels or films, and you can definitely find examples easily.

Antagonist character is a character that you tell to describe the opposite of a good character.

Many novice writers are more comfortable interpreting antagonist characters as mere evil figures. Of course it can be used, but you can also broaden the spectrum of understanding to be even wider that; Antagonist is a character who tries to prevent the protagonist from achieving his goal in general.

To make the evil character of the antagonist more imprinted in the minds of readers, some writers kill other characters in the stories they write. Of course, what you have to understand in this context is that the death of a character who is killed must be caused either directly or indirectly by the antagonist character.

4. Eliminate Characters that Ruin the Plot

killing characters

Are there any characters or characters in the story that could spoil the plot?

Of course there is, and it happens quite a lot.

A character like this is a character in a story that if you don’t tell it, it will become a reader’s question. Meanwhile, if you continue to tell, the characters themselves are not dominant and don’t have much influence on the plot. For a character with a typical like this, you can think about killing him.

But killing the characters in stories like this also can’t be done haphazardly. You also have to reconsider whether the existence of these characters has a good effect on the plot or not. If indeed his presence will only burden the flow of writing that you are doing, then don’t hesitate, just kill the character.

5. Challenges the Writer’s Ability to Get Out of the Comfort Zone

Well, the last reason related to the decision to killing characters in the novel is very interesting. The reason is that in principle it is more focused on the author himself, namely as a challenge for the writer to get out of his comfort zone and habits so far.

As an out of the box and bold writer, of course you can challenge yourself to do this. Killing characters in the story you are writing might make your writing stronger, denser and also filled. Or in other words; The decision to kill the characters in the novel you are writing will force you to be more creative in managing the plot.

This is of course not easy. Besides taking a lot of practice, you also need the courage to get out of your comfort zone. But once you do it, you will find how your writing grows to be more extraordinary.

Two Inappropriate Reasons for Killing Characters in Novel Stories

After seeing the 5 true reasons for killing characters in the novel above, I think you also need to know two reasons that are the opposite of this. Unfortunately, it is still quite common to find novice writers who killing characters in their novels just for the following two reasons.

1. Just To Make Readers Feel Sad

If you kill the characters in the novel you wrote just as a way to make your readers sad, then you have made a big mistake.

You can’t drown your readers in tears of sadness by killing characters at random, but you also have to be in tune with the development of the story.

The sadness of readers because they have lost the characters they like for reasons that the storyline cannot maintain, will actually make the quality of the novel you write lower.

3. Just To Make The Reader Be Shocked

Unpredictable storylines in writing are a plus, but you can’t just go for it. Killing characters that may be close to readers just so they are shocked and unable to guess, is very unwise for you to do.

Once again, before you decide to kill the characters in the novel you are writing, think again about the various impacts on the impact of the story as a whole.

Don’t be too obsessed with ‘tricking’ readers with forced plots. However, what you have to do is focus on a strong and quality storyline.

So, those are some important things that you can consider when faced with the choice to killing characters in a novel you are writing. The point of all this is, refine your feelings and sensitivity to find the most appropriate reasons to maintain a character or kill him in the story.


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Anton Wan Bong

I am a Indonesian book writer, content writer, ghost writer, copywriters and also an email marketer. I have written 23 book titles, fiction and non-fiction, and thousands of articles since mid-2018 until now.

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