02 April 2019

Earn Your Death

The submission deadline for the marvelous May 31, 2019 issue of Electric Spec is right around the corner: April 15, 2019! Get those stories in to be considered for this issue.

We've started going through the massive slush pile. (Thank you for sending us your stories!) I've got a tip...

Earn Your Death. Often authors kill off their protagonists and other characters in their stories. And why not? It's dramatic. Unfortunately, if it's not earned, it has less of an emotional impact. How do you earn your death? By making the reader emotionally invested in the character that dies. How do you get the reader emotinoally invested? There are many ways including:

  • use very specific details
  • show other characters caring about the character
  • show the character as an underdog, e.g. a victim of a tragedy or bullying
  • show the character act heroic, e.g. save the cat<--this is a writerly trick wherein the character saves a creature even less powerful than him/herself.
I look forward to reading a lot of stories in which a character I care about dies. :)

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