It’s very slow going–like, REALLY, REALLY slow–but I am writing a women’s fiction book (or is it woman’s fiction? In which case, which woman is it? And will she like my book?), and in it, a crucial character will die.

It has to happen, painful though it is. It has to happen, actually, because it is painful. Like in real life, I want to make things happy and okay for everyone, but in fiction, that is boring. Bo. Ring.

The cool part is, that when I told two friends who’d read my pages that I was going to off XXX, they were both really bummed because they’d identified with XXX and liked him/her. That makes me feel as though I’ve done a good job.

Sometimes people have to die in order for the character to grow and progress (see: Every Disney movie ever–parents have a very low survival rate). Other times it’s to make the fiction seem more like real life, because bad things happen to good people.

It’s rarer to read about decent characters dying in historical romances, unless it’s the ancient, doddering aunt who then leaves a fortune–our own Carolyn might have done it at some point, although I don’t want to spoil anything. I like pushing the envelope like this (being RISKY!), even though in real life, I am a wuss. I’ve cried over books, and I’d like someone, someday, to cry over mine.

How about you? Have you cried over a book? Which one? Are you okay with killing off characters in romantic fiction? Do you like women’s fiction? Or even know what it is (I confess, I’m baffled, sometimes, because it just seems then like all fiction is ‘women’s’)?