Death scenes are the hardest for me to write and not because I am crying so hard that I have to stop and weep.
I know, in Chapter One, who is going to die yet when it comes time to writing the scene I am an emotional wreck. I like my characters and sometimes the good person does have to die.
Knowing who is to die, and when, is important but it is the preliminary work or the setting of the scene that makes it powerful.
Write convincing death scenes:
- emphasize the qualities of the dying character
- make it unexpected – a surprise death
- show compassion
- indicate how the death affects others
- might occur from a terminal illness
- include a deathbed visitation
- The character is nice, good, likeable and does not deserve to die.
- The character might be outright terrible and must die.
- The other characters’ reaction to the death is relatable to the reader.
- The reader feels sorry for the character.
The deaths need to be important, but not all deaths must mean something to every character. Nor do all deaths need to make the reader emotional and not all deaths impact the main characters. But they must have purpose.
“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”