Killing off a "perfect" character

Question: I am writing a trilogy of books and wondering whether to kill off a main character who I believe to be too "perfect" in the third book. Is this a silly reason to kill off a well-loved character? Should I make her less of a Mary-Sue? Advice would be great!


Answer: I think you should give yourself a better reason to kill her off.

For example, if she is too good, perhaps her death would be an example of Costs. In other words, could her death strengthen the protagonist's resolve to achieve the story goal?

Or her death could be an example of Forewarnings - a sign of what will happen to others if the goal is not achieved or that the Consequence is approaching.

Or perhaps she could sacrifice herself for the sake of others?

I mean, you may as well get the most dramatic mileage out of the death as you can.

Comments for Killing off a "perfect" character

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Sep 01, 2012
How about...
by: Zan

A reason to make the character not so perfect? Some deep dark secret that would spin the story in a different direction and change everyone's opinion on the character? Some drunken indiscretion, or a tool for the bad guys, or some darker reason why he/she is seen as perfect? What does he/she do or think "off-camera"?

Sep 15, 2012
Thanks
by: Anonymous

These are great ideas. Actually I was originally thinking about revealing some terrible dark secret about her, but she deserves to be liked even after meeting her fate. I am writing her death as a motivation for the other protagonists to conplete the story goal (think Rue's death in the Hunger Games).

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