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Old 07-13-2011, 07:48 AM   #1
mr ploppy
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Killing people

Does anyone feel a bit guilty about killing the people who live in their heads? Do you ever use your god-powers to rewrite their destiny as a result?
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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I sometimes get all weepy over the pain I bring upon innocent imagination, but on the other hand, some figments deserve it. Such demons are hard to control so it's out of my hands anyway.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
Harper Kingsley
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Sometimes I feel like maybe people are going to yell at me about killing off their favorite characters, but I don't feel that bad about doing it. Mostly when I first come up with the story idea, I have a general idea of who I'm going to have murdered or whatever, so it's like the runt of the litter--you feel affectionate, but you can't get too lovey on them because there's a good chance they're not going to make it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:32 PM   #4
VydorScope
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My wife gets attached to characters fast. In one book she is reading there was a character who was introduced and killed in a few paragraphs... and in her words she as "distraught" over it.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:08 AM   #5
mr ploppy
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Mostly when I first come up with the story idea, I have a general idea of who I'm going to have murdered or whatever, so it's like the runt of the litter--you feel affectionate, but you can't get too lovey on them because there's a good chance they're not going to make it.
That's probably where I went wrong. I wanted it to leave an impact, so I went out of my way to make him the most likeable character right from the start.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Sounds like you're doing the right thing. I can't imagine such convenient bliss as to live without hard choices. And when people working behind the curtain still get drawn into the show, it must be pretty good. You'll just have to suffer the pangs of care.
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:28 PM   #7
crich70
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It's been said that a writer is God to his/her story world so I don't see a way that such life & death decisions for this or that character can be avoided. The author has to know enough about a given character to write convincingly about them, and sometimes a story will require that this or that character bites the dust. Anything else would be unrealistic and while we want to escape the 'real' world when we read we also expect certain things to be maintained, one of which is that death is part of the world fictional or real.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:18 PM   #8
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I don't like killing off characters, but sometimes it's necessary to further the story. Of course, I never kill off the main characters. That would defeat the purpose of the book.

Joyce
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
Xanthe
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What do you folks think about authors who become seemingly incapable of killing off any of the "regular" characters who appear in a series, when situations occur where the character should have met his or her natural or unnatural demise? When the characters become so real in the author's mind that he/she just cannot eliminate them, even though the story arc suffers? How can you recover a series that is stagnating because of something like that, without a wholesale slaughter that would alienate the core readership?
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:21 AM   #10
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I tend to feel more like the dying character than some god who's condemned them.

If I'm writing an important female character's death, for example, I don't just picture and hear her. I also try to become her -- to understand how it feels to be her -- so that her demise isn't reducible to a message, plot point or side effect of my male gaze. If her death is supposed to matter to the reader, then I have to be able to channel her point of view. It isn't enough to use style and tone to convey the loss, or to have other characters emote over the sadness of her passing.

Last edited by Prestidigitweeze; 07-15-2011 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:14 AM   #11
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? How can you recover a series that is stagnating because of something like that, without a wholesale slaughter that would alienate the core readership?
There are other ways to handle that other then death. Old core characters can be phased out through retirement, old age, training a replacement, moving away, chasing some dream far away, or etc.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:42 AM   #12
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There are other ways to handle that other then death. Old core characters can be phased out through retirement, old age, training a replacement, moving away, chasing some dream far away, or etc.

This would give the author the opportunity to retire the old series and create a new one. And if the readers don't accept the new series, you can have the older character come out of "retirement" and resume his duties.

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Old 07-18-2011, 06:46 PM   #13
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Does anyone feel a bit guilty about killing the people who live in their heads? Do you ever use your god-powers to rewrite their destiny as a result?
Having second thoughts about the mall business? Or did the mall owners turn you down?

Try writing a book with a happy ending, and this problem won't arise.

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Old 07-19-2011, 05:06 AM   #14
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Try writing a book with a happy ending, and this problem won't arise.
Do I look like a girl?
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:53 AM   #15
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Sometimes killing off a character is the happy ending.
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