This was something I had to learn to do in my fantasy novels. If you want to write epic fantasy, people have to die. The ultimate goal is to have the reader so emotionally invested in the characters, that they fear the good guys might lose. Everything can't go the way of good in the classic battle of good versus evil. Sometimes evil wins. Sometimes heroes make mistakes and pay for them. If an author can't stand to make their protagonists suffer, they may as well write children's books.
|Demon killer from |
The Keepers of Sulbreth
I started the first book in my current fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles, with some important people dying. Not everyone makes it through the second book either, the third book buries more people and well, you get the idea.
Even in my romance series, bad things have to happen to good people. Otherwise you can end the book after the first chapter and type, happily ever after, on about page twenty.
So, do you have a favorite author who knows how to torture their protagonists for great reader entertainment? Have you ever read a book that was too kind to the hero or heroine? Does the superman in your novel have his kryptonite?