Killing Characters

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I’m not a fan of killing characters, both in books and TV shows. Yet, I know in certain circumstances, the character’s death is an essential part in the story.

As an author, I’ve killed a couple of characters in my books.

The first character to suffer a tragic ending was Nancy Mitchell in Going Home Again. Nancy is Rachel’s mother, and she plays a huge role in the story. Through flashbacks, you see the bond the mother and daughter shared. Nancy’s death is an important part of the story because it’s what brings Rachel home to Virginia. It’s then that Rachel meets her ex-boyfriend, Cole Ashton, which sets in motion the rekindling of their relationship. Nancy’s death also helps Rachel reconnect with her sisters and grandmother. Following her mother’s death, Rachel learns a lesson in the importance of family and how she needs them in her life.

The other death I wrote is Buck Turner’s in Westmore. Buck is a supporting character, yet he was one I enjoyed writing. He was a tough guy with a humble side. Buck is a bartender and a mentor to Jack. Much like Nancy’s in GHA, Buck’s death serves as an awakening for Jack. Following his mentor’s death, Jack begins making personal and professional changes to his life.

Writing these deaths was tough because as a writer you become attached to the characters. I got a little emotional writing their deaths and the grief the other characters felt at their loss. Killing characters is a tough process for me, yet if the story calls for it, it must be done. I just have to remember to be strong while I’m writing the scenes.

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