THE BLOG

How to Kill Your Characters Without Bloodshed

06/23/2015 05:41 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2016

Stuck for ways to get rid of characters that are contributing nothing to your plot? You want to kill them, but you're squeamish. Or perhaps you're just not very good at writing about bloodshed. Perhaps these will work for you.

• Obsessing about a man/woman.
• Childbirth. Or witnessing childbirth.
• Scurvy. On the high seas. No citrus fruit.
• Reaction to a bad haircut.
• Wishing or praying too hard for something that never happens.
• Losing your car keys more than three times a day, leading to madness.
• The complications of time travel.
• Danger associated with working in a chicken factory or an abattoir
• Not wearing enough clothes in the middle of winter on the moors near Haworth, UK, near the ruined home said to have inspired Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.
• Tripping over a live electrical wire while you're trying to avoid the sexual advances of a person you cannot stand.
• Mental exhaustion thanks to social media.
• Physical exhaustion thanks to sex.
• Playing the electric guitar early on Sunday morning and the neighbours throw a rock through the bedroom window, perfectly aimed.
• Bad career decision. Such as leaving Wall St. for Kalannie (an Australian Wheat Belt town).
• Falling in love with the wrong person, leaving him, then meeting a man who is wonderful until he starts calling you his 'death wish', only to make you realize the wrong person was the right person after all.
• Fishing in a storm. On rocks. Without a harness.
• Too close to the fire.
• Too far from the sea.
• Unrequited love.
• Attending the wedding of the object of your unrequited love.
• Being too beautiful
• Not handsome enough.
• Drink too much. Fall into fireplace.
• A tight scarf.
• Boots are too big. The sidewalk is too slippery.
• Not been kissed, touched, groped or looked at intensely for a decade.
• Spending 12 months in Wyalkatchem (a very small West Australian town).
• Loose lips.
• Sinking Ships.

Further suggestions welcomed.

LJ Charleston is the author of four books including Fatal Females and The Mommy Mafia. She's currently writing YA fiction. @ljcharleston @themommymafia