It’s Wicked Wednesday again, where we all weigh in on a topic. Continuing our theme this month on characters, we’re talking about who we just couldn’t kill off in our series without serious consequence (or who we’d just miss too much!).
Liz: I could never, ever kill off an animal in my books. Doesn’t matter if it’s a “main character,” like Scruffy or Nutty, or a walk-on four-legged friend. I have never been able to read books where animals are killed (I’ve been known to simply stop in the middle) and I would not cross that line. For people? Jake and Char. I’ve gotten attached to them.
Edith: I have broken a rule three times (so far) and written characters who are based on someone I love in real life. So they’re never going to be candidates for murder. Neither are children (following the animal rule), which includes fourteen-year-old Ellie and seventeen-year-old Vince, or Cam’s great uncle Albert. But I suppose a supporting character like Felicity, or Elise (from Speaking of Murder), could need to die to move the story along. I sure don’t have that planned, though, and Elise already nearly died once, in Speaking of Murder. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Jessie: At this point I can’t say for certain there are any characters I wouldn’t ever write as a victim. I know I don’t choose to read books with children as victims and I’m not sure I could write one. I’m a little superstitious about it, actually. Oddly, every time I’ve written a book, soon after I end up meeting a person in real life who is very much like one of the characters. I’d be so terribly upset to meet a child who ends up as a victim.
Barb: I don’t like to think about anything being off limits. That being said, Julia’s my point of view character in the Maine Clambake Mysteries, which are written in first person, so if she was gone it would shake things up a LOT. I do have one child character, Julia’s beloved niece, and if she was killed it would take the books way out of the realm of the cozy. But I have thought about killing off every other secondary character, particularly if they’re being illusive or misbehaving. However, so far I’ve focused on killing off random strangers.
Readers, what characters do you think are off limits for murder?