How to Not Be Killed Off in a Novel

This post is for the nearest, possibly not so dearest, to writers.

You’ve probably seen the t-shirts and heard the threats that you will be killed off in their next novel.

No one wants to be slain, literally or in print. Here I am to help you not be that person who pissed a writer off so much that you are now dead and everyone is enjoying reading about it.

How to Not Be Killed Off in a Novel

1.Don’t ever ask if you’re the inspiration for one of the characters. You are now. A dead one.

How to Not Be Killed Off in a Novel - urge to kill rising2. Never look over a writer’s shoulder when they’re writing.

3. Do not tell a writer writing is easy.

4. Refrain from telling writers you could easily write a book because you read a lot.

5. Buy a copy of your beloved writer’s books. Buy many copies just to be sure.

6. Review their novel after reading it. Do not give less than five stars.

7. Actually read their novel. We will ask questions and will find out if you’re lying.

8. Never, ever ask when they’re going to finish their novel.

9. Keep the chocolate and coffee coming in bountiful supply.

10. If they ask you to beta read, critique don’t criticise.

How to Not Be Killed Off in a Novel - urge to kill11. Allow the writer their strange moments when they drift away to writery world and disengage with reality. Yes, it might be your wedding anniversary dinner but they have a massive plot idea forming.

12. Don’t ever be a noisy neighbour who frequently disrupts writing time with loud music and wild parties. You will be killed in a cruel manner, with your tortured cries drowned out by that loud music you insist on playing.

13. Don’t be selfish and interrupt writing. Yes, you may only be two years-old and in need of parental supervision but writing time is sacred. Go and chew on a rusk.

14. Never question a writer’s purchases of books to help them with their writing by stating, ‘It’s just writing. You don’t need a book for that’.

15. Restrict a writer’s reading at your own risk. Questioning why they are buying another book will result in murder.

16. Do not tell a writer cats are rubbish.

17. Never ask a full-time writer what they’ve been doing all day.

How to Not Be Killed Off in a Novel - die18. Do not judge a writer who is still in their PJs at 4 p.m.

19. Do not mock introverts. We are giving you books by holing ourselves away, safely in our homes.

20. Never, ever steal their plot lines and use them for your own novel. You will die a thousand times over in their next novel and be dancing in the flames of Hell for eternity.

21. Do not speak to a writer when their fingers are flying over the keyboard. It probably took three hours of procrastination to work up to this golden moment.

22. Never mock the genre your writer is writing in.

23. Don’t tell a writer we won’t sell many books because it’s a tough market out there. We know. We are sadists.

24. Never tell us how *insert famous author’s name here* is better than us. We know they might be but we will keep on keeping on.

25. Worship us. Simple as that.

Over to You

What advice would you give to people to avoid being killed off in your novel?

Have you ever killed off someone you know in a novel? Go on, confess!

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

2 comments on “How to Not Be Killed Off in a Novel

  1. “Worship us”.

    Yes, that one. Offerings of tea, cake and the occasional toasted sandwich accepted at regular intervals. And please don’t touch the books in our writing spot because THEY ARE IN THAT ORDER FOR A REASON.

    And yes, we do need that many post-its. They remind us who to kill off next.

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