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Killing your Protagonist

How to Kill Your Protagonist

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Characters

In this video, Hello Future Me explains how to kill off your protagonist effectively in your story. He explores the consequences and follow-through of such a decision, and how to prepare your readers for the protagonist's death. He also discusses the importance of not making the entire story contingent on the protagonist's role and how to continue the story after their death.

Storytelling Essentials


  • Killing off a protagonist can be difficult, costly, and necessary in working your book in the direction that you want to go.
  • Killing your protagonist creates a myriad of problems, such as how to continue a story without the character that your audience has been rooting for.
  • Exploring the consequences and follow-through after a protagonist's death is essential to maintaining the realism of the story.
  • Using a protagonist's death as an inciting incident gives the character a presence in the story even after they're gone and helps bridge the gap between having the character and not having them in the story.
  • Moving the agency of the story to other characters before the protagonist's death can be a really effective way of preparing the reader for that deal.