I've been agonizing over the fate of a character in the novel I'm working on. I don't want to kill this person off just to milk for emotion or shock value. But I don't want my love for this character to blind me to the only believable course of events as I've orchestrated them.
Colleen once described the relatively low body count in her suspense fiction as "an economy of corpses." That idea resonates with me. It's about what is needed, what is balanced, not what's dearly wanted or deeply feared. The objective is a satisfying ending. Which is not to be confused with a happy ending. Which is not to be confused with an unrealistic ending.
To be or not to be, that is the question.