Killing your darlings

So George RR Martin has made a meme for himself by killing his characters, like, a lot. And it is a commonly held belief amongst writers that you can’t get too attached to your characters, that you have to be willing to let them go if it’s what the story needs.

I just don’t know if I have that in me.

*Spoilers for Bridge to Terabithia*

When I first read Bridge to Terabithia as a teenager, the ending hit me like a sack full of bricks. The writing had pulled me in and I felt so close to these two characters. For one of them to just die, it hurt.

Leigh Bardugo is a prime culprit for this. As I commented on twitter, she lures you in with amazing writing then starts playing heart piƱata. You should read her books, they’re amazing… but brace yourself.

I have a couple of books that are going to come out in the coming years, and I know that I’m going to have to grow as a writer to deliver them well. Because in one of the upcoming books, a character dies.

 

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