So, I’m writing a book along with my prose, about a Fox Warlord who loses the one he wishes to protect and I was curious on how to make the death of this semi major character plot point absolutely heart wrenching, since the relationship between the two was very close, if not near intimate. The main protagonist/antagonist is gay and he has had a deep affection for his partner in the story, and I really don’t want to kill him off, but it’s sorta alluding to something that actually happened to me. Anyhow… what should I do?
The most important thing is that the doomed character is likeable—like instantly likeable. The first time we meet the character, we have to think, “Oh, yeah! He’s a neat guy. I’d want him as a friend.” Show him doing cool stuff like protecting someone or caring for someone who is upset. Don’t foreshadow his death, then drop it on the reader for maximum emotional impact and explore how everyone copes with it.