Writer Zaide’s: Advice for Wayward Writers

Zaide Himself

My Main Character Dies Halfway Through the Novel. Can Lesser Conflicts Bring Adequate Tension to the Plot?

In Empire, Orson Scott Card wrote a novel where the POV character in the first half of the novel is shot in the head by an assassin and dies midway through the book. After his death, other characters carried the POV. The Death of the main character did not conclude the crises that started the novel.

In Card’s Novel, the plot was not solved by the death of the main character. It was a political thriller where other characters picked up the plot and conflicts. The novel did not hinge on the Main’s character’s conflicts.

Whatever your central conflict might be, it should work like a relay race, where the next person takes the baton and runs with it. Dealing with the death of the original main character became a subplot for his friends, wife, and children.

I do not think that “lesser conflicts” will work. Your readers bought into your main characters crises and conflicts. The death of the main character should be a failure in the novel’s core conflict that others must rise to face.

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