There comes a time in any webcomic creator’s career where they have to be mean to their characters. And there is nothing meaner than letting the proverbial Sword of Damocles fall on a beloved (or equally unloved) character and watching their head roll to the chorus a shrill cries of, with any luck, heartbreaking outrage.
But there is a time and a place to have your creations push up the daisies. It should always be done for the right reasons such as advancing the story, serving to further the overall theme, motivating other characters or serving as a recompense for previous and/or devious actions.
Do not be tempted to kill off a character for the sake of inciting an emotional reaction however, as once the shock value has died down and people begin to recognise what you did, then they may not be particularly happy with the trick you pulled on them.
Another rule to remember is, is that if you want the impact to really stick, LEAVE THEM IN THE GRAVE! The thing about death is, is that it is kinda permanent, and removing a character from the mortal coil should have real and lasting consequences for the other characters in the story which quickly gets undermined the moment they pop up, (even worse if they are a-okay). So if you want the loss to really sting and linger, then let them go.
When you begin writing your character and overall story, do you plan to have them die or keep them alive. Now we all know that the creative process is fluid and that plans and plots change ever so quickly, but keep it in mind why you are creating the characters you are. Try to avoid creating characters for the sole purpose of killing them off, and, in the event that is unavoidable, take the time to get to know them and let your audience know them too. It is the least you can do considering they may not make it to the end.
Have you ever had to kill off a character? Why did you do it? Was it planned from the beginning? Let us know in the comments below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST) where we’ll be talking about this topic!
Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Aug. 17, 2018
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