Killing your Characters

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksI was reading the other day a fascinating post, Killing the Mary-Sue, by Chiyome. As I am currently debating killing a character or two in my WIP, the fourth book of my epic fantasy series Pearseus, her musings made me wonder about the role death plays in our works.

Both Schism and Rise of the Prince (the two first Pearseus books) had their fair number of untimely death, culminating in a couple of (hopefully) unexpected ones. However, everyone said those deaths made perfect sense, and accepted them.

Mad Water, the third book, also seems to have a successful ending, even if the death toll is lower – leading a reviewer to comment that it was closer to a TV series, where characters manage to cheat death more often than not.

So, why am I agonizing about death in the fourth book of the series? Probably because death, even in fiction, is such a final thing. So…

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The Worst Way to Begin a Novel

Some industry insights on things to avoid at the beginning of a novel via author Nicholas Rossis.  I must be honest and say I have broken a few of these guidelines myself.

Nicholas C. Rossis

epic failThe worst way to begin a novel: advice from literary agents“. That’s the title of a wonderful blog post by the Write Life. Literary agents are like ‘skilled readers’ who have gone through hundreds of novels, acquiring experience; they are also supposed to be in touch with ‘what people want’.

The post is actually quite funny – you should definitely check out the comments – and very informative. It did make me reflect on how I have started my novels and whether I have made some unspeakable mistakes. I kept reading through the posts, holding my breath and cringing about my own writing, saying to myself ‘oh thank God, I didn’t do that’ or ‘Phew, I almost did that’ and ‘oh dear, I might have done that’.

Now, agents obviously have different tastes than the average reader (or the publishing industry would not be in the sorry state it…

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