Why are authors so afraid to kill their darlings?
So… I read a book. I know. Insane, right? But in this book there were some characters and lots of action and potential options for death (aka author killing said characters.) And, because we’re trying to be realistic, one of the characters gets stuck in their sticky situation and befalls an untimely death (in whatever gruesome [aka boring] manner the author deems fit.)
That character’s not dead! Nope! That character, by some form of scientific, magical, gobble-pot nonsense (that literally does NOT exist in this style of novel) the character is STILL ALIVE! HOORAY!
Yeah, no. 😑
This, lovely ladies and gorgeous gentleman, is what I so vehemently like to refer to as… a ‘cliche.’ That’s right! This particular plot element of a character dying, but not actually dying and popping up again later in the book, is used so gosh darn
mother fucking often that it has become a trope.
*insert exhausted, overly bored, seen-it-before sigh*
I am honestly quite surprised by how long it took me to notice this plot device and the frustrating frequency with which its used (particularly in YA fiction). What’s more, I’m sorry. After all, I feel it has become my duty, my obligation, my job as Anti-Hero of Bad Books (deemed so by one of my fellow bloggers. 😉 SHOUTOUT TO ANDREA @ A LITTLE BLUE BOOK!), to bring these unfortunate, abhorrent things to light and…
😂 I’m so evil. ☺️
But as I was saying, I was reading a book where everyone thought the character died and then they didn’t (and then they actually ended up dying. What the actual fuck was the point of bringing them back to life and then killing them again? Really though? That sounds like the author went: “FUCK! I have no way for my characters to plausibly escape this scenario I have put them in! I guess I’ll just have to bring back the dead character who literally had NO WAY of surviving their first death and I really don’t want this character so I’ll probably still kill them anyway. LOLZ!” … /rant)
I guess, as an author who likes to kill characters (ha! Here’s your one and only warning should you ever read my stuffs), I am baffled and appalled by the authors who can’t or just won’t kill characters. Honestly, I’m kind of disappointed when an epic, dangerous, action-filled story ends with all the characters alive. Why? Because if all the important characters managed to survive… then it obviously wasn’t all that dangerous or epic of an adventure now, was it? 🤔
Not to mention, I just think it’s cheap and cowardly to not be able to kill off your characters. That’s right! I called you out! If you had a reason to kill the character (like it was plausible thing that could have happened at that particular point in the story), then just kill them! You bringing them back to life is no longer a big shocker. It’s not the ‘surprise twist’ you think it is. It’s just pathetic and shows what kind of writer you really are (one I’m not going to read again, fyi!)
Of course, this could just be me. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that bringing characters back to life is cheap and pathetic (because I hail the darkness and like to sacrifice characters to the writing gods in the hopes that I will one day be showered upon by their blessings. P.s. those aren’t the ‘good’ gods you’re thinking of, people. I did say ‘darkness.’ 😈)
But what do you think?
Is not dead characters annoying to you?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week: