Monday, January 27, 2014

Writing Tip- A Meaningful Death

Aslan's death demonstrated God's love.
Have you ever read a book (or watched a movie) where a character received a death that in no way matched their importance to the story? I just finished a book like that, and it has wounded me more than I can say.

Why? Because a character I loved died for no reason. Not even the writer in me can account for her death. It was needless and worthless. She could have easily lived, after all else that she had survived, and no one would have questioned it. She could have even died a better death.

How does a character die a great death? They die for what they believe in, for those they love, and they do it in such an epic way that we can not help but stand up and take notice.

Do not let them die a puny death. Do not let them die for nothing. Make their end mean something and let them meet in a way that will mean everything to yours story.

In The Seed, a novel I wrote two years ago, my message is that we must give up everything for the message
Boromir's death created all sorts of conflict for the story.
of Christ. And so one of my characters died a martyr's death. It was important to the story and everyone who read it told me that it made them think about what they would have done in that situation. That is what a character's death should do.

It should not just upset us, but move us to action, to change. Because ultimately, the character does not just die for the story, they die for us.

If you want to read more on this subject, you can go to this link at Go Teen Writers.

Tomorrow I plan to post a short story I wrote a long time ago that deals with this subject.


  1. Very, very, very true. While those meaningless deaths happen way too often in real life, I consider that an even greater reason to have death be meaningful in a story.

    1. Definitely. About three hours after I wrote this, I got a call that my grandpa had died. It struck just how much I want this death to have a meaning like this in my life and others, so that it is not for nothing.