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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is It Ever Okay to Kill a Main Character?

Lately, I've seen articles on this topic in the RT magazine, posted on blogs, and discussed in romance book clubs. Why? It seems several authors have stuck their necks out, risking the ire of their readers by killing off main or recurring characters.

From the RT discussion board:

"I am so done with [Big Name Author] and the series, I'm never buying another book of hers again. I feel like getting rid of the books I have so I'm not reminded."

"I HATE THAT! Why do authors do that? "

" I just gave up another series because the male love interest got killed off. In fact, I didn't even finish the book. Why do they do this? I'M SO MAD!!"

Those are some STRONG opinions. Since I haven't read a series in which a character has been killed off, I'm pretty much neutral. But, I would love to hear both the pros and cons of killing off main characters. Why would an author consider such a risky move? What does she expect to accomplish? And as a reader, does it piss you off as much as the readers above?

Vampilicious Erotic Romance
Sydney's Romance with Sassitude

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:43 AM |


Commented by Blogger Nonny:

I remember reading about something awhile back where a book published as romance killed off the hero in the third book of the series and hooked the heroine up with another guy. Yeah...

I read a lot of SF/F myself, and sometimes primary characters are killed. For me, it depends why they're killed. Very often authors seem to do it "because they can," and that's not kosher in my book. If it's for a story-based reason, then I may be upset that the character died but I will see why it had to happen. One of my favorite authors -- George R. R. Martin -- is known for killing major characters, but he does so very skillfully.

It's all in the execution. Pun unintended. :P

3:28 PM 

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