Magical Words: Death

Photo by Ahmed Adly on Unsplash

Death comes for us all. And for literary secondary characters, sooner than most. But, because of fiction, it needs to make sense. 

Remember the difference between fiction and reality is fiction needs to make sense. Senseless death is unsatisfying in fiction, not just a tragedy. 

Sensible death needs certain things to happen: Intent, Purpose, and Follow-through.

John Hartness breaks down what makes a good death in the Magical Words 3/28/2013 posting, “Matters of Life and Death. Well, mostly death, really.”:

Be sure to read the comments too. People commented on how various literary character deaths worked and didn’t work, and not everyone agreed on what was an acceptable purpose and if follow-through was met.

It’s been nearly 10 years since this posting was made. Comment below on what literary deaths you remember and if you think they meet the requirements for a good fictional death with Intent, Purpose, and Follow-through.