When someone is convicted for murder in the first degree, that means they planned out this particular death and executed their target. While there are many levels of first degree murder, this is the general idea. How does that relate to writing? Well, let’s talk about how planning out the death of one of your characters may come in handy.
First of all, you should ask yourself a series of questions before you decide to stick a knife in one of your characters. One being: has this character served their purpose in the telling of your story? Or maybe, has it become difficult to write in a character after a revelation in the plot? Or as simple as day, are they the ultimate sacrifice type of character?
If you’ve answered any of these questions with a whispered “yes,” I think it’s time to cut a character out.
As mad as we get when the tables are turned and we’re the reader, a character’s death comes with purpose. There have been so many book deaths that were needed to fuel emotion in the story, or further the plot. (Always kill a character to further the plot.) The characters we hate to lose are usually the ones who get killed off. Sometimes the character needed to serve a quick purpose and needs to be written off…in the most dramatic way possible, aka death.
Don’t feel obligated to keep all of your characters; they won’t all see the finish line.