Choosing Who Lives & Dies

I’m coming to a point in The Book Of Mark where it’s the final climatic battle and all of my characters are going head to head in a battle royal. I know some may die. I’m just sadistic like that. Never a happy ending for my people. Which raises the question. How do writer’s choose which of their characters die?

I won’t spoil my book’s ending, but there has to be one character that lives. Mainly because that character is given a larger role in the overall series. So that narrows it down. And I know that the evil character has to die, preferably by the protagonist and in some bloody revenging fashion.

But what about the secondary characters?

I pity them. I really do. They have survived the entire book and now they are probably toast. Do I flip a coin? Place their names on a dartboard? Maybe draw straws? 

I know some author’s plan out the plot of the story and make every death count in some kind of symbolism. In my opinion, that doesn’t make much sense. Death is supposed to be sudden, hard, and nonsensical (at the time). I never plot my work. It never turns out right. I have the beginning and the end. Whatever happens between those points is up to the characters.

“Whoa… wait,” you might say “How do the characters decide what happens?”

Look at God for the answer. 

He knows what’s going to happen to us. He knows how we were created and how we live our life and how we end up dying. Kind of sounds like a very detailed plot of a character’s life. 

Let me get one thing straight: I’m not trying to compare myself to God. That’s the last thing I’d ever try and do, but it is interesting when you think about it. God created man in His image and we, authors, create our characters in our image. We know how they began, what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to ultimately die.

Interesting when you think about it, huh?

Comment below if you agree/disagree. I’m interested in what you think. Also, if you have any good ways of choosing who lives and dies in your stories, let me know!

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