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Robert Kirkman is a writer of comic books and television. He is best known for his zombie apocalypse work that has been successful in both of those mediums (as well as others!), The Walking Dead , but he also writes the long-running series Invincible (one of my husband's favorite books of all time!), all-ages Super Dinosaur, Thief of Thieves and Clone as well as Witch Doctor, Guarding the Globe and The Astounding Wolf-Man. He was recently made a partner at Image Comics (my favorite comic book publishing house) and has a major impact on the industry at this time.
To keep up with a lot of the work Kirkman is involved in, stay tuned to the home of his creator-owned work, Skybound, or follow him on Twitter @RobertKirkman.
My Thoughts About Kirkman's Murderous Ways
"It's a very emotional thing, and I kind of feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb because I was in the writers' room going, 'This death is important!' There was an argument about this person dying, and I argued for it! Now I'm surrounded by all of these people who wish this wasn't happening right now! But, yeah, sometimes it's a little awkward. Having to remove someone from the family is absolutely terrible."
Of course, even rules of thumb can fall victim to the spontaneous whim of a writer looking for drama. In the same AMA, Kirkman was asked directly to describe his process of getting rid of a character,
"It's different for every character. Sometimes it's something I've planned and built to for many issues. Other times it's just me thinking 'it's been a while since something really interesting happened' and killing a character on the fly. It's a lot of fun having the freedom to shape the story however I want."
Kirkman is brutal, but he is not alone. Writing is so powerful when it can rock us emotionally and there is little that can do that as effectively as the death of a character we have come to love, or even hate. I first experienced this kind of power as an avid fan of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was created and written by another brutal man, Joss Whedon. I couldn't believe the heartlessness of his writing, but, after awhile I began to recognize that this is exactly what kept me coming back for more.
As a writer, personally, I know that killing my darlings, in this most literal sense, is something I still have to work toward. Though I keep writing about the act here as one of brutality I know that it is actually one of bravery. I become so attached to my beloveds and their story lines, I fear what will happen to my tales without them - will they survive? Can they? The point is to build a world and a cast of characters so strong that one heart-wrenching death will not shatter your entire creation. The real work is to know, as Kirkman put it, when a death is important and to not pass up on the opportunity to share that with your readers.
How difficult is it for you to kill your characters?
Do you have a procedure to determine when it is best to kill a character?
Back to the A to Z Party!
Thank you for stopping by Rivera Runs Through It today, but please don't stop now! Head on over to the rest of the A to Z bloggers to see what they are up to today:
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My A to Z Challenge Weekly Book Giveaway! WEEK 2
I am also be hosting one book giveaway per week during the month of April. You will have all week (until midnight Monday) to enter to win the book of the week and you may enter more than once (with certain entry options). This week's book is an Advanced Reader Copy of The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff.
You may enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter widget below:
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