Of Killing Characters & Children

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!

In my trilogy “The Chosen One of Allivar”, I kill off many characters. Many readers have told me that I angered them for doing so. The killing of those characters has a very specific purpose that will only be revealed at the very end. However, when killing off children I had to step lightly. To much detail and people would not read it, I know I would not. The main purpose of killing off characters is to touch your emotions. When evil characters die off, you cheer and sense victory. When good characters die off, you feel sadness and defeat. However, killing off children or characters that children become attached to reaches two sets of readers – children and their elders.

We have seen how the stories of Harry Potter have affected both children and adult alike. Writing like this is pure genius. I have strived to make that very same connection; to remember what it is was like to have childhood sadness from a story. Most of you probably don’t remember “Ol’ Yeller.” As children it is easy to feel sadness when a beloved pet is killed, but it is another emotion when a human-like character is killed. It is a classic technique used over and over again in many of Disney’s animated classics that kept my little children glued to the VCR, time and time again. I am sure I can recite every word of “The Little Mermaid”, or “Beauty and the Beast”.

For those of you who have not read my story, there is one character that I wrote about with special emphasis and his dealings WITH children. His name is Bothar – an eighteen feet tall, massive, strong, but gentle giant. Due to a developmental issue he is as simple, trusting and loyal as a child. He befriends Christala, a blond, curly haired three year old and he becomes her chief protector. Without any further details, the narrative is written specifically to tear you and a child reader apart emotionally. But, there are other scenes, too, that are filled with death and sadness. You should not remain untouched and tearless at the completion of the trilogy. It is my hope that the story will stick with you unlike any you have read before.

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