To kill, or not to kill..your characters? See what author Summer Lane has to say!
On the Subject of Killing Characters
When you write a series of books, you might be surprised at how many people will take the time to write to you and ask you questions about the fate of the characters. After book three, a group of readers were a bit distraught over the fate of one character in particular (I won’t spoil it, just in case you haven’t read State of Rebellion yet!). Unfortunately, sometimes a character must be sacrificed for the good of the story.
However, I’m not the kind of author to kill off the most beloved characters in my novels, because 1) I’m too attached to them to do that and 2) that doesn’t necessarily add quality to my story, just shock. In the end, I think that quality always beats shock value, and it’s important to only kill off a supporting cast member if it moves the story forward. So I only do that if I think it’s adding to the story, not taking away from it.
In State of Pursuit, the likelihood that somebody is going to die is much higher than any of the other books. Cassidy is essentially taking a rescue team on a suicide mission, and casualties are expected. I won’t give anything away, but I’ll just say that Cassidy is faced with some tough choices, and I think she responded in a way that will surprise the readers. Cassidy is growing up!
(Collapse Series #4)
Publication date: June 6th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
Cassidy Hart is alone.
Her Commander and the love of her life, Chris Young, has gone missing in action. A horrific battle with Omega has left too many good men and women dead, and Cassidy must bear the burden of leadership in the militia on her own.
But she’s not about to give up.
With the help of her faithful friends – and former enemies – she will stop at nothing to rescue Chris and ensure victory for the militias in their fight against the all-powerful Omega forces.
The game has shifted. This time, Cassidy is one step ahead of the enemy.
This time, Cassidy is in charge.
Collapse Series #4 – YA/NA Romantic Adventure – National Bestselling Series
Summer Lane is the author of the national bestselling Collapse Series, which currently includes State of Emergency, State of Chaos, State of Rebellion and the fourth installment, State of Pursuit – releasing June 6th, 2014. She owns WB Publishing, and is the CEO of The Art of Storytelling, an upcoming creative writing program for children.
Summer is also the founder of Writing Belle, an online magazine dedicated to the art of storytelling. She is a consultant, creative writing teacher and journalist. Check out Writing Belle for interviews with upcoming authors and insights into the world of publishing! http://writingbelle.com/
I would want my dogs and a good horse as my survival buddies!
Summer’s concept on killing off characters makes a good point. Too many writers are more about the shock value and less about the characters. Good writers can utilize shock value to keep their books exciting, but killing of characters is a fine line, especially when it is a main character and the only reason to kill them off is for shock value alone – not to move the story along in an exciting, edge-of-your-seat manner.
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