Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can you kill off characters in middle grade fiction?

This is sure to disturb Christine, but I had an idea about killing off one of my characters in my book today. It was bad enough when I had Grandpa shot. She just about had a conniption, and he's only a made up character. I guess it's a step worse when you knock off a beloved character completely. For her peace of mind, I'll refrain from saying who it is, but my daughter, who is reading this over my shoulder, is already upset and telling me I can't kill anyone off. All I can say without giving anything away is that it is sci-fi, and I'll make everything okay in the end.

This brings us to the question of the hour. Can you kill off characters in middle grade novels, or is this too disturbing for kids this age? What do you think?


  1. I don't know. I think it's done rather regularly in TV and probably in a lot of teen fiction. But killing one of the good guys? I think it would definately bring the readers in. Perhaps you could hint that this might not be the end for them.