I can’t agree more about Alyss’ death! It was extremely unsatisfying and downright unfair. If he had to kill her off to drive the plot for the Royal Ranger, at least do it on the page! If only in a prologue! I’m still mad about that one. And Will’s actions were entirely out of character. The plot in and of itself wasn’t bad, but it would have worked better with new characters.
Another bad example from RA is Shukin’s death in book 10. Honestly, it was a competition between “Oh. Okay.” and “Who was that again?” (I had to look up his name XD) I really didn’t love book 10. Hmm, maybe Flanagan isn’t good at killing off characters XD
Some good death’s I’ve read include:
*SPOILERS for “Mockingjay” (Hunger Games)*
Some really good, heartwrenching deaths were Prim and Finnick. I almost cried, even though I’d already been spoiled for the deaths. Prim’s was heartbreaking because Katniss worked the entire series to save her, and now she dies after all. It does show a good shift between trying to save her family and trying to save the country.
I wasn’t happy about Finnick’s, since it seemed a bit superfluous, (He could have lived!) but it was heartbreaking because he had achieved his goals/wishes, (Surviving the Quarter Quell and marrying Annie) but didn’t have time to enjoy them.
*SPOILERS for “The Shadow Throne” (Ascendance series)*
In “The Shadow Throne” I really admired Imogen and Conner’s deaths. (I’m trying to avoid too many spoilers 😉 )
Conner’s was an amazing villain death, since, as the book said “Conner had died much as he lived, in the grayest shadow between right and wrong.” His death was so perfectly in character, it was downright impressive, and left you wondering about his motivations. You spend most of the series trying to figure out what he’s thinking, and trying to predict him. You’re left satisfied, but slightly puzzled (not confused, just a bit puzzled) like you should be with morally gray characters.
Imogen’s was a good death because it was so crucial to the plot, and it really showed a lot about Jaron. I got a bit choked up when Imogen’s death completely broke him like nothing else could. I think this was amplified by his personality and constant rebellious determination. He never, ever gave up, even when things looked their darkest. And now he just stopped fighting and stopped caring. It was heartbreaking.
The cliches I like are resurrections. (Sorry!) It’s something I’ve never really minded if it’s well-executed and the grief doesn’t feel wasted. I understand it’s risky and a lot of people will hate it, but this is one of the things I don’t mind.
Cliches I hate are when they just drop down dead with no buildup or consequences, or they’re killed offscreen. I hate it when the MC just arrives at a burnt house and everyone’s dead. It kind of ruins the effect it might have had and only makes me frustrated. I also hate it when characters disappear when they’re no longer useful and it’s only mentioned that they’re dead. (Cinna! I’m still mad about that.) Also, when a character mysteriously dies off-screen and the MC is only told about it, I’m suspicious. I understand that sometimes it’s the only way, but it isn’t ideal.
Does anyone have any ideas of how to show grief in an MC without having a melodramatic reflection for half a chapter? (during which the phrases “My heart broke” and “my soul ripped in two” are absolutely required.) I don’t mean the lasting, long term mourning, but the initial shock. When I write it, it feels either hard-hearted or melodramatic.
Thanks in advance, this is a great subject and I learned a lot from everyone’s comments!
"Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux