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Killing Off Characters... How does it feel?


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yes, the death of a character, especially the MC has to make sense within the story. Ace's story Velocity did it very well. i still can't reread that one. i still poke Ace about sometimes. we giggle about it now, but at the time i was so mad. it was the ending it needed and it did make sense to the story, even if i didn't like it. it never stopped me from reading his other works

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As long as we're not talking Game of Thrones type of killing off MCs I can deal with death in a story. But if every story character I invest my interest in gets killed, I give up.

tim, the character which died in your story made perfect sense to me. It was sad, but logical.

Edited by Timothy M.
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I haven't had a character die in my stories. Not that I'm opposed, it just hasn't made sense in my stories.

 

However, death can be powerful and create massive change. Harry Potter is filled with death and characters dying and being murdered. Most I read and their deaths meant little to me. When Dobby died, I cried, set the book down, and needed time to grieve his passing. I'm talking about a character in a book, who I had become invested in, and I needed time to grieve. 

 

In comics, Batman becomes who he is because he witnesses the murder of his parents. Superman lives a dual life, one knowing he is among a few survivors of the planet Krypton, and the child of the Kents who raise him. Wonder Woman is shaped by living in a world of immortal women, where death is rare and all life is special.

 

Death can shape the character, and alter how a reader sees the story. I'm not a great fan of death, but it is a part of life, and it can be used powerfully in a story.

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This topic needs to be here. 

 

This  topic makes me uncomfortable. 

 

 this topic needs to be here because it makes me uncomfortable

 

I said this once:

 

 I still agree with that statement. 

 

The discord between how I react to the idea as a reader and how it makes me feel as a writer... interesting. 

 

 I would say that I've never killed a character, but upon reflection I kill them all the time. I write about vampires,  heroes that slay monsters and fight bandits. My protagonists are often people who have killed. 

 

 I have never killed a leading character. Sometimes, someone goes to the future or something is set in the future and therefore some characters are "dead"  but that's manifestly different than actually writing the the death of the character the way I would any other scene. 

 

 I also recently realized almost all of my characters are, for different reasons,  either Immortal or so extremely long-lived they are effectively immortal.  or they live in a world where they could become such. (Human to vampire, werewolf, whatever)

 

 I kill strangers, or characters I've created with a backstory in order to make it morally appealing that they're killed,  but I go out of my way to make sure people important to me live forever. 

 

 all the above is true. 

 

But there is a very old story I'm continuing that if something doesn't change, I'll have to face what we're discussing. 

 

 I read somewhere once that JK Rowling said, in regards to Cedric Diggory,  that she didn't kill him, she found him dead. 

 

 now that I've thought this far into it, I have to wonder , which it will be for me?

 

Yep. Fascinating. 

 

# proofreading is for people that aren't this tired

 

 

Edited by VampireMystic
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 3/11/2018 at 5:35 AM, Krista said:

I am reading a series right now that has a death of a character. I didn't know it was coming, but I accidentally ran into a spoiler... and it shocked me.

 

Are you by any chance reading a series with book titles starting with Ass ?

 

Spoiler

Assassin series by Robin Hobb. But she also likes to kill MCs in other books.

 

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6 hours ago, Timothy M. said:

 

Are you by any chance reading a series with book titles starting with Ass ?

 

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Assassin series by Robin Hobb. But she also likes to kill MCs in other books.

 

 

No! Never heard of that series. I am starved for things to read though, do you recommend those?

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5 hours ago, Krista said:

 

No! Never heard of that series. I am starved for things to read though, do you recommend those?

 

Yes, Robin Hobb writes the most amazing books, but she's really hard on her MCs. One of the great things about her stories is how she sets up predictable outcomes, but then when you get to the 'I knew that would happen' moments the story has developed in unpredictable ways and the result is completely unexpected or the significance of that particular plot point is smaller or different.

Sorry about the :off:posts, Cia.

Edited by Timothy M.
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21 hours ago, Timothy M. said:

 

Yes, Robin Hobb writes the most amazing books, but she's really hard on her MCs. One of the great things about her stories is how she sets up predictable outcomes, but then when you get to the 'I knew that would happen' moments the story has developed in unpredictable ways and the result is completely unexpected or the significance of that particular plot point is smaller or different.

Sorry about the :off:posts, Cia.

Love that series. *dives for book 1*

 

Drat!

 

#I should be writing

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am considering this.

 

I’ve destroyed villains before, but not central characters. I have to be careful, though, that I really think about killing an MC because it could alienate readers from my other works which might not be so sad. I also have to be careful that it does not become a thing for me. I’ve dealt with a lot of death in my life recently and it wants to find expression in my writing. I don’t want to become known as The Author In Which All Life Dies. 

 

That said, a lot of my stories deal with the idea of love surviving beyond death in some way. This may be another way the recent tragedies in my life find expression. In order for this to make its way into a story, though, a character must pass or be already dead.

 

Also, I was a Goth growing up and still am in a lot of ways . . . There’s that. :P

Hurray for immaturity! :D

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I find it painful to kill them off, especially if they are likable. In many situations, though it can help develop and plot or another character because of that death. It can turn your readers away if they are invested in that character and feel like too much reality is being put into the story. No one wants to read something that leaves them feeling depressed and betrayed by the author. Well, I don't at least. 

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