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Thread: Killing off your characters in MG

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  1. #1
    ... DanielaTorre's Avatar
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    Mar 2011

    Killing off your characters in MG

    I searched the AW forum for this question and came upon something similar. It concerned violence in MG books. However, I'm more interested to learn more about the manner in which that violence is presented in a middle grade book.

    In nearly every single Disney movie, the villain often dies off screen, usually by falling off a precipice. There are exceptions, of course, but they are few and far. This is very clever because it kills off the evil without raking up a body count.

    I'm writing an MG Fantasy book about stage magic and the question came to mind. If I ever decided to write a follow up to it, I imagine a certain character would meet his/her demise for various reasons. This must happen. It's not something that I would do for cheap shock value. But for the life of me I cannot think of a way to kill said person off without some sort of violence or blood being involved. This isn't Harry Potter where I could plug in a wand and utter a magic word and kill the person without a drop of blood being spilt. Nor can I have this person fall off a building. It's just not logical to the story being told. Another thing to consider is that my characters are actual people. They're not monsters or demons so the consequences are real.

    So my question is — and this sounds so morbid in my head as I type this — what is the least gory manner a person can get killed by another person in a middle grade book?

    I probably will never get to write a follow up to my current project, you know, because I'm not yet thinking that far ahead, but I'm really interested to learn. As a writer, how would you or how have you approached murder?

    ETA: My problem in particular is that it needs to be done in the heat of the moment. So things like poison or what have you are not an option.
    Last edited by DanielaTorre; 12-13-2012 at 05:48 AM.

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