Forgive me in advance, because today’s post could be seen as a little insensitive.
Either directly in a story, or somewhere off the page, death is a great catalyst for action. Whether it makes it into your novel or not, writing about the death of a person that a main character cares about can shake things loose if you’re stuck, reveal qualities abut the character in question, explain motivations that seem otherwise inexplicable, and provide a venue for powerful emotions to be explored.
If you don’t believe me, name one novel whose plot has not be directly or indirectly influenced by a death.
Death drives a plot forward when the death in question is able to influence choices and motivate change. Simply killing off characters because you are tired of them doesn’t work. The death must have some impact on the story around it. Think about the deaths of Dumbledore (it frees Harry Potter to do what he was destined to do), or Eddard Stark (could A Song of Ice and Fire have continued to 4+ additional volumes if he hadn’t died?)
Don’t be afraid of writing about death. It might be the best thing to happen to your story.
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