Killing Your Characters

character deathI am a ruthless author, and if you’ve read all four books in the Akasha Series, you’ll know what I mean. I won’t post any detailed spoilers here, but I can tell you that I have literally received hate mail for killing off certain characters.  I’ve received one star reviews because the reader had become so attached to these characters, and they just didn’t want to accept the ending I wrote.

To these readers, I really want to send a big thank you. Thank you for letting me know (in your own way) that you love my characters!  There is no bigger compliment to a writer. I, of course, apologize for throwing you into an emotional whirlwind, but I hope what you take from the series overall is an awesome story, and maybe you will have picked up some ‘eco’ tips along the way. J

I’m not the only author to tread these waters. Having recently finished ‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth, I have to wonder what kind of hate mail is in her inbox – and I can definitely sympathize with her. Veronica Roth explains her decision on her official blog here. Don’t read it unless you’ve already read the whole series!

My favorite quote from Roth during the explanation is “I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.”

I agree with Roth – as authors we want honest but bold stories. If anything, The Akasha Series is bold, and I wanted an ending that was just as bold. For those of you that have read the series, please be sure to ask about the bonus short story collection. There is one story in there that takes place 20 years into the future, and it may give you some comfort.

Although I have just released ‘The Rising’ and am hard at work on the second book for that series, I have some exciting promotions planned for The Akasha Series in December!  Please stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to follow my blog by email!

 

4 thoughts on “Killing Your Characters

  1. I totally get authors killing off characters for the sake of the story. Sometimes it just has to happen — the character gets him or herself into a situation, and the only realistic resolution is death. Fair enough! The only time I wish authors would be a bit more cautious about killing off a character is in the following situation: it’s the middle of a series (with more books planned), and the character headed to the chopping block is a fan favorite. Fan favorite, as in, the fans adore them and many fans would literally stop reading the series if this character died. I know pandering to your readers isn’t a very authorly thing to do, but I have legit stopped reading series halfway through because a character I loved (and is the reason I’m reading the series) died — and it made me really sad to do so, because I had been genuinely enjoying said series up until that point, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go on. That being said, the author can do whatever the heck they want, because they’re the author! And if readers don’t like it, they don’t have to read :)

  2. Good point, Michelle! Yep, I could see the difference in killing a fan fav in the middle of the book vs. the end. That is a drastic move, and maybe wouldn’t be the ‘good twist’ the author might have intended…

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