So, in the real world, death is an ugly, ugly thing. It comes when it decides to, and when it does, there is pretty much nothing we can do about it. It seems (to me at least), that this is partially why we find death so horrible - because it can come without notice, and most of the time, it comes too soon. But what about in a story, when the character dies exactly when the writer intends for them to? While an un-involved third party (the reader) might not know when the character is going to die, we as storytellers do. How can we give that death meaning, or make it impactful for the reader? In all my years of writing and roleplaying, this is still one of the hardest things for me to do. I have read articles and guides and book excerpts, and I still don't get it. I personally think death is one of the hardest things to write well. I remember reading a fantasy book series when I was younger. I LOVED this series, and still do. But in one of the later books, the most central character of the story dies. Just gets killed by some nobody. The whole thing felt contrived and meaningless, and did not impact me at all emotionally (other than just making me confused). The series was written by authors I have tremendous respect for, and I love their work. But whenever I think about how hard it is to write death in a meaningful or impactful way, my mind wanders back to that scene in that book. What are your thoughts on this? Are you willing to kill off one of your characters? Have you? How do we go about this in a way carries weight for the readers? How do we make them feel something? I want tear stains on the paper of those pages! Delicious, salty tears!