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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 7, 2010

to die, or not to die...that is my question

Being writers of the Young Adult persuasion, we all know how delicate our readers can be. We understand that the subject matter of our stories needs to be both entertaining and enlightening, that a message of morality or humanity hidden within our words is a unique way to get through to teens.

But what if we want to change things up a bit?

I don’t mean writing a story where all of humankind is evil and the hero doesn’t win. Well, I sort of mean that. Let me explain.

I’m about knee deep in my current WIP, slowly but steadily working my way up to the waist. I’ve introduced my characters in what I believe to be a good way. I’ve brought in a small but important supporting cast and I think I’ve laid the proper groundwork for my story to fully play itself out. Over the course of 3 (hopefully a published trilogy!) books, I plan on taking my main character from young and innocent to young and matured. That’s the plan.

But I’m running into a question that I was hoping to find an answer for. Or at the very least, a few opinions from the geniuses that make up Writerdom. So, once again I’m posing a question. Feel free to answer, not answer, tell me to quit wasting my time ‘cause my writing is horrible (wait, that’s me telling myself that!), whatever. Here goes…

Is it wrong to kill off the main character once the story has been told?

I know this question may come as a shock to some, but I honestly feel that in the course of my story, sacrificing herself to save others would be the only choice my MC would make. But at the same time, I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot.

Would you stick to your guns and kill your MC? Or would you choose a safer, though altered version of your story where the MC lives happily (or not so happily) ever after?


  1. I think it depends on whether you were doing it for shock value (bad) or if it truly made sense for the novel (fine).
    If it's in keeping with your MC's motivations and goals, then it's probably okay.
    Other may have different ideas. I'm a fan of happy endings, but I'm just one reader! Certain sub-genres (like romance) must have a happy ending by the nature of the beast.

  2. I say go for it! If it blows up in your face, that's why we've all been blessed with a delete button. :) That's what I'm trying to remind myself when revising. It's okay to take out/change stuff as long as you keep the original version saved somewhere.

  3. Thanks for the advice, ladies...I plan on writing it out both ways to see which I like best and which best suits the story. Good job, Pam!