- Energy weapons. Useful because they can also be set to stun and apparently nobody ever has an adverse reaction to being knocked unconscious by several thousand volts or pretty green lights. Be warned though, energy weapons should — theoretically — cauterise a wound on the way through, not make it bleed. Only useful if you don’t want buckets of blood splashing about for people to slip on and sprain something…
- Childbirth. The most popular way to remove an unwanted female character.
- Zombification. A very useful tool. Removes the character but leaves you with an evil minion to wreak havoc on your heroes. Sort of what happens to people who join political parties.
Perhaps we should be asking - when should you kill a character?
the reader cares about them
it is most effective for the plot
it creates a moving scene
it forces the main character to make a choice
the choice creates a moral dilemma
the choice the main character makes revels something about him/her
when you want to show how dangerous a situation is
when you need to raise the stakes
when you can achieve two or more of the above
It doesn't have to be a person who gets killed. I read one of Dave's pieces where the main character had to kill their dog and that moved me to tears.
Have you had to kill off one of your characters? When and how did you do it?