Forums › Fiction › Plotting › Rndm brainstorming post to help each other when we got nothing. Yep. › Reply To: Rndm brainstorming post to help each other when we got nothing. Yep.
First of all, I’m really sorry about your dad 🙁
Okay, I’ve written about this in several variations.
I’m going to start by contradicting Joelle XD
One tip would be to make sure you have a LOT of internal monologue.
Yes, internal monologue is important, but not too much. I’ve found that it’s the fastest way to make anything melodramatic. If a character just died and you focus on internal monologue you’ll inevitably sound like “And my heart shattered. And my soul tore in two. And my heartbroken heartbreak… broke?”
(I’m only insulting myself, that’s exactly how my first draft sounded. XD)
There’s only so many ways you can phrase grief and shock in internal monologue. Something I’ve found out from myself is that whenever something shocking happened, I just go numb and quiet. It feels like I’m not thinking and I’m definitely not feeling.
I’ll be able to composedly finish whatever I’m doing because I’m not feeling. It’s only when I need to tell someone else that it gets to be too much and I start crying. (This isn’t necessarily about death, just any shocking occurance.)
So I try to show that in my writing by completely cutting the internal monologue during a shocking event and for a short while after, until the realization hits.
Instead, I focus on extreme detail. The character notices all kinds of tiny things and describes them to utmost detail. It’s almost like zooming in with a camera, and it just seems to keep going and going and like the scene just won’t end.
The character isn’t thinking about the big picture, they’re just so horribly trapped in that single instant.
(I’m not sure how well it works, but it’s an approach I’ve been trying. I might change it later.)
I’ve found that 9/10 death scenes are poorly paced. When I usually don’t cry it means it was over too fast. If it’s over in an instant, I just… don’t register. When it takes a really long time (including the breaking-the-news and realization moments) it tends to hurt wayyy worse.
For the rest, I’d say having characters ‘break character’ always hits hard. When the arrogant, closed-off character starts crying in public, not caring who sees them, and the gentle, soft-spoken character becomes furious and lashes out, it stands out.
I think the key, no matter what you do, is to show how much it affects them, no matter how they show it. The thing about characters breaking down and crying is that it’s extreme emotion. You can use any other emotion if you really want to. Extreme anger, to the point of blinding bitterness also works well, but even something like desperately trying to hide their horrible grief behind jokes and lightheartedness.
For everything else, I agree with Joelle. Every character grieves differently, and none of them are wrong. All of them are interesting if you just show that it’s turned their world upside down.
I might not have answered your question exactly like you wanted, but this is the best I can do, I hope it helped some.
Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?