I've heard quite a few complaints about character deaths being used to further the plot. They say it's boring and overdone and mention that there are plenty of other ways to get to the same point without killing off a character.
I am writing a novel that involves the death of an important character, which is integral to the plot. I am not killing her off for "shock value," to make the main character sad/angry/depressed, or to make my novel "dark." This character has a very high-ranking position and has been the prime target for the enemy group since the beginning of the novel (and everyone is aware of this). Despite the efforts taken to protect her, she dies anyway, and her death triggers many other events that could not happen if she was anything but dead. The main character, for example, undergoes great change, and everyone else falls into a state of chaos after losing their leader.
I have tried thinking of alternatives in which she doesn't die, but these alternatives don't quite deliver the same effect, and it would be very difficult (if not impossible, in some cases) to get the same places in my plot if she did not die. After all my consideration, death still seems like the best route to take for this character... but then, I have read things from other people saying that death for the sake of furthering the plot is bad writing. My issue here is that if there was no death, there would be no plot. So is the whole "death used to further the plot = bad/boring/overdone" thing really true?