I know I’ve written about killing off characters before, but I’d like to go a little more into it now that I’m nearing the climax of my current novel.
I’ve noticed in many books that when an author intends on getting rid of a character, he or she tends to let the character fade into the background a bit, with less dialogue and less “screen time” as I like to call it. You don’t see the character very much before the end. I think this is to make the surprise of the character’s death have more impact on the reader, causing them to say “why didn’t I see this coming?!”.
The fading of a character before his or her death in the story seems to be something that the authors are unaware of, as if they are trying to forget about the character before they kill him or her. I believe this because I’m doing the same thing with mine. The character I’m intending to kill off has faded into the background of my story, quite unintentionally, and his final act of bravery will ease the pain of his death for me and for the other characters in my novel (yes, they have a life of their own and will be crushed by the death of my character).
I was posting in the forums of NaNoWriMo the other day about killing off characters, and someone responded with the idea that it would give the main character a chance to become vengeful and seek out the cause of the character’s death with blind fury. The death of my character will certainly boost my word count considerably!