This Story Is Actually a Tragedy

Why do writers kill their characters?

I know none of us likes to contemplate such horror, but it happens. Happily, the romance genre is known for its persistent HEA (happily ever after) endings, so I tend to read a lot of romance novels. My motto is: life already sucks massively, why would I want to read about horrible shit when I don’t have too? I want the books I read to entertain me. I don’t want them to be real. That’s why I get so angry when authors kill off beloved characters. Why do they do that?

  1. Boredom: I am so sick of writing about so-and-so and her issues. I want her to die in a fire. Slowly.
  2. Laziness: Hey, wait! I know an easy way to add conflict! Let’s kill off the heroine and see what happens!
  3. Hatred: I hate that character. Where did she come from? What is my inner psyche trying to tell me? You know what? I don’t care. She’s dead. *evil laugh*
  4. Planning: I don’t care how much this character has grown or how many readers love her. I planned to kill her way back when, and by damn, I’m going to do it!
  5. Wickedness: Ha! Everyone likes so-and-so. Lemme burn her house down and then have her drown in a flood! That’ll be hilarious!
  6. I’m a Better Writer Than This Series: Sorry everyone, I don’t care how much you like Sherlock Holmes, I want to write literary fiction (as if anyone actually reads such snobbish prose).
  7. Just Like Real Life: Not everyone survives a crashed car, tornado, war, etc. And how else to explore the emotional impact of such a thing? Kill off a secondary character and see how the main character deals.
  8. This Story Is Actually a Tragedy: Oh, right. There are other genres instead of romance novels! And people die in those books, usually because they are stupid. Romeo and Juliet still has the capacity to enrage me beyond reason.
  9. Zombies: Everyone dies. Hilariously. Probably because no one was smart enough to stockpile flame throwers and shotguns.