Need to Off a Character?

Irridescent beetle on it's back with it's legs in the air

Dead Bug by Public Domain Photos CC 3.0

Working on an historical and need to know ways people died in 1900? Try the How We Die chart via the Washington Post.

Although it doesn’t say it, I assume the chart is all non-old-age deaths. That or some humans really have found immortality and aren’t sharing.

Flu deaths are down almost 100% – yay. Growing up, I always found it strange that characters in novels were so scared of the flu. Logically, I understood why, but when I came down the flu and all my mom did was make chicken soup, it seemed that people from the 1800s were just being melodramatic.

I have always wondered when characters just wasted away or were mysteriously sick…how many actually had cancer? Or something else we have a name for and diagnosis regularly now?

Anyway…when you kill a character, how do you decide how to do it?

In my early writing, I had a lot of swashbuckling, so death by sword was common. In Julia, her father died via plane crash. In my WIP, there is a serial killer. All those deaths seem, well, normal in context. I’ve never had to search around for a way to kill someone. That seems so much creepier when I type it out…but my question stands. When you kill a character, how do you decide how to do it? Or have you ever gotten rid of a character through non-killing methods? Was that an easier or harder choice?


3 thoughts on “Need to Off a Character?

  1. Kim

    Your post made me remember a southern ancestor, Abijah Hunt, who died in 1811 in a duel. As a child, I thought that was so romantic. Now it just seems stupid.

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