New writing rule: Checkov’s friend
If you introduce a named character with a relationship to a protagonist, their character arc must be resolved in a way that feels reasonable and satisfying
Which is to say: they can’t just dissappear when they’re no longer a convenient plot device
Thor’s Mum rule – If you’re going to kill a character who’s carried any part of the plot, take a bit to reimagine the plot as if she were the main character, and the story ends when she dies. If it’s unsatisfying, rewrite either her plot points, or her death, to make both more meaningful.
Which is to say – don’t treat side characters as ammo with which to hurt your main guy. ESPECIALLY if they’re women.
I’m reblogging because this second part is the best explanation of how I distinguish between fridged characters and other characters who just die.
And yes, it is intrinsically a bit subjective and that’s okay.