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The courage to kill my characters

I'm moving towards the big fight scene in my novel this week, and I know that I'll have to kill some characters at the end of it.  And  that always causes me problems with the writing.
This is one of the reasons why I can't take to galaxy-spanning space opera with scenes of grand destruction which killl billions.  I'm a fan of Elizabeth Moon's Vatta books, but even there I find some parts of the story hard to take.  There are major viewpoint characters in the series who enjoy killing, and in some scenes they're shown enjoying having just killed someone.  This I find hard to accept,  especially as those characters are the good guys in the series.
I need to see the consequences of killing acknowledged in books I read.  And to be fair, Elizabeth Moon does have those characters struggling with the knowledge that they enjoy killing.  That makes them understandable, but it also makes them characters I can never fall in love with.
I much prefer characters like Gareth Pow…

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