I am new to the art of writing and have been wondering if there is a way to introduce the grief of loss(character dies) in my story, inturn while making the reader feel the grief. Is there a good method to go about doing this (Making the reader feel the grief a character feels)?

  • 2
    My best advice is that if you want a reader to truly grieve they need to feel a personal connection with both the grieving character and the grieved. If you already have this you're doing great. If you don't yet I suggest waiting before going in for the kill. Mar 3, 2019 at 7:56
  • Please try to use existing tags rather than creating new ones. Mar 3, 2019 at 16:47
  • Ok... Sorry, I didn't know...
    – xilpex
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:48
  • Sometimes a new tag is needed. For example, recently a new user wanted to ask about writing food recipe books, and we had no tag that was anywhere in the vicinity, except for the all-encompassing non-fiction. But if your question can fit under a slightly broader tag, like emotions, there's usually no need for a more specific tag. If you're unsure, you can always ask on Writing Meta. We have many discussions related to tags there. Mar 3, 2019 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


It is more engendering grief in the reader than simulating it, but one must be careful lest the beloved character you killed off be the only one the reader cares about. It is one thing for the reader to put the book down for a few minutes and think about the loss, quite another for them to put it down and never pick it up again.

What you need to inspire in the reader is genuine sorrow that said character died balanced with caring how the others will cope without him/her. Will their quest fail without this character or will this loss galvanize them further.

When Katherine Kurtz killed the gentle healer Rhys, it shocked me. She had another character psychically linked with him at the time of his death so that he was not alone. This other character cared deeply for Rhys and his anguish seemed real. It made the death matter.

Killing off a good and interesting character must be important or the reader feels they wasted time investing more in the character than the author did.

  • Thank you! I never thought of it in this way! Thanks a lot!
    – xilpex
    Mar 3, 2019 at 4:22

The best way I know of is to make the reader feel the grief too. By this I mean you build the character so well, make them so loved, that when they die it hurts. Then the reader doesn't just imagine what the other characters are feeling, they feel it too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.