Character Deaths…advice?

Forums Fiction Characters Character Deaths…advice?

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    Livi Ryddle


    Uhm… Yes. *nods* I would venture to say it is. I guess it depends some on which character you like more. But for me…? Yeah. I think it’s worse.

    "Reck not."
    ~Sir Nicholas Beauvallet

    Urwen Starial


      Ah, yes, character death, one of the most heart-wrenching parts of a story. And also, one of my favorite things to write about! 😊 (Kirat stop looking at me like that, it’s not like I’ve written out your death… Yet)

      I feel like a very common death, is sacrifice. It’s become so common that it makes it hard to enjoy it all the time. As long as it’s written well, you’ll have me welling up in tears.

      A favorite tactic for deaths I use, is reminiscing afterwards, to make the pain more realistic, the character remembering the times they spent with another, to enhance the pain. (Kirat, seriously, stop looking at me like that!)

      I  see WAY too many stories where the characters are too caught up in their own things to properly grieve a character’s death. It doesn’t go deep enough into their pain, it doesn’t show me that this character was important to them, no matter their role in the story.

      All sacrifice scenes have to be written well. I like authors who go deep to show why the character is sacrificing. They have to show a deep expression to show me why they’re making this sacrifice.

      If the hero is making a sacrifice for the villain, there has to be more than a sense of duty, there has to be a reason they’re saving them. A deeper expression of why they feel honor bound and it their duty to save them.

      Y’know? Am I making sense? Death scenes have to be written well, otherwise they seem shallow and unimportant. The reader forgets the death because it didn’t leave some sort of lasting impression on a character.

      if the character isn’t impacted by the death, then it risks being a forgettable death, and a forgettable character. Characters have to change after a death. Who isn’t impacted by death? Even in a small way, it impacts the stoniest hearted character.

      good. Lecture done. Crazy long post. It’s good to know I’m not the only murderer on here! 😉(Figuratively of course. Kirat stop glaring at me like that!!!)

      "Peace in our time. Imagine that."

      Esmeralda Gramilton

        Okay, long post coming up:

        The best two deaths scenes I’ve ever written:

        One where a married couple dies together after *spoiler* and their unofficially adopted son is there and can’t do anything to save them when they die. having just a few people there is very emo for me. But i don’t like the helplessness that’s just standing there and wishing.

        Then at the end of the series, a good guy and a bad guy are poisoned together. After about four months, the good guy dies and the bad guy lives. The good guy is a main character but not a POV character or anything, so I was able to add utterly devastated thoughts from the POV characters when they find out. that helps add emo a lot.

        I’d mention some of the most well-written death scenes I’ve read from other authors, but I’ve read and finished a lot of currently popular books series, and don’t want to spoil anything. I’ll just say the one in Book 3 of Keeper of the Lost Cities and then the one in book 5, the one at the end of the second series of Spirit <i>Animals</i>, the fifth and then every one in the seventh books of Harry Potter, especially.

        Okay, long post over.

        “No-one can judge your worth; They can only influence the judgement of your worth.” ~Elysso

        Rusted Knight

          I’ve seen a few deaths (in books and film). Some of the best to absolutely kill the viewer’s heart are when Person A thinks they are going on a suicide mission that will end the problem once and for all. Spoiler. Person B, the people’s favorite, double crossed Person A and sent them to the decoy which is not well guarded while they hit the real target. Person A figures out too late and hears their final words before their death.

          Also, FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND KIND, PLEASE STOP HAVING THE ONE WHO DIES TALK ABOUT THE FAMILY. While it makes the death more sorrowful, its been used too much. Try the reveal after the death like they did in Sands of Iwo Jima. That one hurt a bit.

          The Devil saw me with my head down and got excited. Then I said Amen


            Ohh, I hadn’t seen this thread yet. I wouldn’t classify myself as a bad character killer. I’m moderate. I find it hurts me just as much or more than readers to really take out someone you spent months crafting and loving.

            There were some very good death scenes mentioned…but my favorites have got to be *spoiler alert* some of the ones in the Wingfearther Saga. Andrew Peterson did an amazing job on them. I don’t know how this is possible, but I think Rudric’s hit me just as hard as the one (not going to say who) at the very end. The elements of Nia, and Esben, and then Rudric…*shivers* It’s horribly good.

            And my other favorite is Boromir in LOTR movie. Not because of Boromir’s death so much, but because that scene really solidifies who Aragorn is through the death.

            I think the most important thing about a death scene is to strive, not to affect your reader, but to affect your character. Death will either weaken them, or strengthen them. It may take away hope, or give determination. They might break down immediately, or it might take a while. Whatever happens, death is a twist you use to make your character more real, and more relatable.

            Live doing what you love. Die doing what you love. Do what you love for the Master.

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