Today I was thinking about when writers kill characters. Actually, this popped into my head because of a cute little cartoon on FaceBook. It had Joss Whedon’s logo (the scary guy) chasing three figures. The words said, “Guns don’t kill people, Joss Whedon kills people”. The three figures were three well-loved characters (out of many) that he’s bumped off over the years.
I’m an anti-death person myself. I figure that real life has way too much of it for me to want it in my fictional pastimes (book/tv/movie). I am still pissed about Joss killing Wash in the Firefly movie. Now for those of you saying, “But sometimes you HAVE to kill a character to motivate a major change in another character," I say, yeah, sometimes. But alot of times a death is used for simply dramatic impact, or to make things seem more realistic.
For an example, I'll use the aforementioned Wash character from Firefly (and let me tell you all- I still think Joss is an insanely talented man- I just disagree with some choices he's made over the years ;)). The character in question survived all sorts of things in the series, and most of the movie. Then, just as he's safely navigated the ship through deadly peril- he gets run through with a pike and dies.
There was no, he gave up his life to save others moment, it wasn't needed to really motivate anyone (his wife was horrified, but she was already a fierce fighter- his death didn't cause her to suddenly come out and fight). It was shocking, dramatic, and painful- all of which I think Joss was going for.
I don't like it. Death without meaning is very real life- but I'm not someone who wants her fiction to be like real life. Realistic, yes. Painfully real? No.
Now, I have had to kill a few characters in my books. But I made sure there was a BIG reason for it- usually saving someone else.
So, now that I've had my rant about folks who bump of beloved characters, what about you? Do you like reading/seeing that? Do you write it?
Thanks for coming by!