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The danger of writing solid characters in a murder mystery

David Gane
David Gane

My writing partner wrote a great character. Now, I want to kill the character.

I didn't begin by wanting to do it. I noticed our story structure had lost momentum and started looking for ways to add it.

It didn't take me long to notice that the area that fit was near where this character appeared.

But what sealed the deal for me was that the character was well-written. They were interesting. If I needed to add fuel to the story engine, killing this character was it.

Now, it's not a done deal. This character may survive. There are plenty of back-and-forth discussions ahead before we decide entirely.

But it's a reminder that the most effortless and most engaging characters to torment are the ones that are written well.


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Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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