Need to Off a Character?

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

Dead Bug by Public Domain Photos CC 3.0 flickr.com/photos/free-stock/5000576310

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?

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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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