Sometimes the best advice is the telling off you give yourself
Oh, brother, but this has given me problems!
There is nothing better than the death of a character to give a writer something to get stuck in to. Especially if it is a major player in the story. "Oh, no! The princess has died!" Don't worry, no spoilers here as my story is short of high profile princesses.
In a short story a death is a quick shock. You are not going to have time for lots of death situations in there and probably only once. In a novel, death is a more difficult beast as a death will have repercussions further up the line in your plot which you need to work out. In a saga, a death in book one may suddenly change what happens in book ten and you haven't even started planning for that one yet!
So, again a little belatedly, I have moved from working out who I am going to kill of to who I am NOT going to kill off.
I have done this for the entire saga, I have done this for each series within the saga and I have done this even on a chapter by chapter basis. If I am entering a part of the story where people are going to die, like a battle, for instance, then before I write a word I make a quick list of who I need to survive. And that is based on who I need to still be living when I eventually fall off the end of my saga.
Good thing I did this too! I have now gone back to my first book and brought a character back to life who I am going to need later! Wish I thought of this before.
So my second lesson to myself has been to plan Who Lives. Now I know that, I can kill off anyone else I like and enjoy it to the full.
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