To kill or not to kill, that is the quesion

Forums Fiction Plotting To kill or not to kill, that is the quesion

This topic contains 21 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Theresa Play 1 month ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)
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  • #85900

    Ariel Ashira
    @ashira

    @nuetrobolt Yes to what and no to what?

    "No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."

    #86003

    Theresa Play
    @theresa-play

      @myclipboardismyviolin, @nuetrobolt, @ashira, ooh a debate. please carry on as far as possible because this will help me decide. (I figure things out by debating. My sister will come into my room, give me a topic and a side to debate, and we’ll both debate until whoever needed a decision had made it)

      Throne Warden, its true, not everyone dies in the real world. But this isn’t set in a real world. Its set in a world where sacrificial death of children is a common practice. In the Old Testament this very subject was dealt with tons of times. In fact, many kings and nations were destroyed and cursed because they did this. I get what you’re saying about how it would ruin the book for you, and that is something to consider. If I follow down that path, I wouldn’t want my younger sisters to read it until they were at least 16. I don’t know how old you are, and so I’m not going to be presumptuous in that. I know tons of adults who also wouldn’t want to read something like that. But the point remains that evil exists in the world, and killing off a child is something everyone can agree is evil. I’m going to be dealing with subtle evil as well, but this blatant evil is critical.

      Ashira, you gave a very good argument. Seeing as how if I do kill her off I’ll end up probably failing at doing it justice, I now feel like I have a lot to live up to.

      My Clipboard is My Violin, first of all, I play the violin too! So yes, there would be a reason for her to die. I hate it when writers kill off characters for no reason other than to move the plot along. At the very beginning of the story you find out that she is supposed to die if Jycin doesn’t do what the villains want. He runs away with her instead, so basically her dying would fulfill the statement at the beginning. There are other reasons also, but I don’t want to give too much away. I briefly looked into having Jycin sacrifice himself for her, but I didn’t like any of the plot ideas that came if that happened so I had to throw that idea out. I disagree that my writing is to serve the reader. I think that what I write is something that means something to me, and so if it means something to someone else, they’ll read it. I tried to write for the reader once, and my story became very flat. It didn’t have anything of import in it because I was  worried about what the reader might think.

      @i-david, well, prompts are always nice too. I mean, its not like I have a ton of story ideas already *pushes notebook full of just that aside*

       

       

      "My prayer is that when I die, all of hell rejoices that I am out of the fight."
      - C. S. Lewis

      #86053

      MyClipboardIsMyViolin
      @myclipboardismyviolin

      @ashira

      @nuetrobolt I agree, lots of people are heartless. And there is a lot more evil in the world and through history than you seem to realize. People DO kill little children, and do terrible things with them. If you want me to give you a ton of historical and modern day examples, I can. Satan is definatley that cruel, and when he controls people they do horrible things. Just because that much reality has not touched your life yet does not mean it does not exist. “Books are not supposed to be like life. Not too much like it at any rate. That’s why we can have villains without thinking, really, badguys like this really are not this common that they appear in every book.” Then WHY DO YOU WRITE if not to help people with reality by helping them kknow how to deal with real life stuff??? Truth is stranger than any fiction, and the closer you get to the truth, the crazer it gets. There are tons of badguys – they just may not always look like some cheesy authors portray them. And sometimes the “badguy” villain is ourselves, or obsacles we have to come to grips with and learn. Like if your little sibling is murdered in real life for evil reasons – it could happen. And you would need to know how to deal with that. Maybe even help other people who went through the same thing. I think @theresa-play is very brave and bold for maybe doing this because a lot of writers dont even want to face reality or see what really happens and address it.

      @myclipboardismyviolin “The idea of a writer randomly throwing death into the story to serve themselves doesn’t sit well with me.” I agree, but I don’t think Alia is killing her for no reason. “Ultimately, your writing needs to serve your readers. Who are you writing this story for?” That is a very good question, but I think the answers are simple. Maybe people who need to come to grips with what can really happen, or people who have experienced this already and need help with what to do. I can think of many reasons.

      While I agree with this philosophy expoused here for the most part, that angery question “Why do you write?” is too much. When I was younger, I turned to books as an escape from reality, not as a way to understand my own reality. As I’ve grown older, that has totally changed. Now I would tend to argue that, if we were pitting escapism vs. way to understand in a debate, that using books as a way to understand our own reality is by far the better approach to reading. (WITH the extremely important caveat that we should check the understanding we’re getting against Scripture to avoid inhaling lies!) But I’m not teaching a literature class here, I’m on a forum about writing great stories, and one of the limitations we as writers have to accept, however maddening it may be, is that we do not control how readers approach our work.

      Therefore, I hate to say it, but the best writing should allow for both. The reason why is that if your work is a good escape, your work will stay with your reader, and then when other things in your reader’s life come in that God brings around, your work will come up and they may reread, and the Gospel may sink in. From that vantage point, escapism isn’t bad. Also, please note that in writing for children, children naturally approach books as an escape since they don’t have the mental faculties to understand the deeper spiritual concepts your work may address, and it’s important that we as writers realize that so we understand how to write for them better.

      Then, if we allow for escapism, does death break the immersion? For @nuetrobolt, it does. With the new information that @theresa-play has provided, though, it seems that @nuetrobolt simply may not be the audience for this particular book, as it seems to be a book written for teens and adults rather than children, due to the violent content. But there are other people for whom violence may not break the escape *let me hide all of the Holocaust books I read in third grade (!!!)* or those who would find such a work insightful, and thus I don’t think “I don’t like death” is a valid argument against @theresa-play‘s work.

      Because death is, in fact, the backdrop here, or at least the threat of death. If I walk into a bookstore and see @theresa-play‘s book on the shelf and read the first few pages, due to the setting I’m going to know that death is a thing.

      Its set in a world where sacrificial death of children is a common practice. In the Old Testament this very subject was dealt with tons of times. In fact, many kings and nations were destroyed and cursed because they did this. I get what you’re saying about how it would ruin the book for you, and that is something to consider. If I follow down that path, I wouldn’t want my younger sisters to read it until they were at least 16. I don’t know how old you are, and so I’m not going to be presumptuous in that. I know tons of adults who also wouldn’t want to read something like that. But the point remains that evil exists in the world, and killing off a child is something everyone can agree is evil. I’m going to be dealing with subtle evil as well, but this blatant evil is critical.

      I would go forward with this work because of its importance to the national thought on abortion. I think it would be relevant, seeing as people sacrifice children to the Gods of appearance, time, convenience, and so on. I don’t want you to blatantly address this in-text (in fact, it might be better if you don’t) but I think this story is worth writing and has the capacity to help people avoid or heal from bad choices by understanding the real spiritual context going on. I wouldn’t be discouraged or anything. (Freakishly enough, killing off a child is not something that everyone can agree is evil. You’d think we could agree, but…nope. 🙁 ) Though I don’t think that was the main point of your story either – I think you just wanted an evil bad guy who was really evil…but yeah.

      I play the violin too! So yes, there would be a reason for her to die.

      This strikes me as a great story opening line, or a line of dialogue from a maniacal villain whom the hero has to do a battle of wits with. *saves*

      Anyway, I hate to disappoint, but I do not actually play the violin. The name is a metaphor, a reference to the Lindsey Stirling videos where her violin is her consummate creative piece. I think of my clipboard the same way, hence the name.

      At the very beginning of the story you find out that she is supposed to die if Jycin doesn’t do what the villains want. He runs away with her instead, so basically her dying would fulfill the statement at the beginning.

      It really has to do with how powerful Jycin is versus how much power the villains have, that would determine her death or not. I think you should first decide how much power each side needs based on the larger story that you have and go from there. Granted, this could be a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Obviously if the girl dies, that weakens Jycin’s side considerably since he will be suffering from grief, and if the little girl grows up she might help Jycin later. On the other hand, if the villains don’t get what they want, they will get stronger and angrier and more and more bent on revenge, and Jycin will have to expend resources to protect her that he might have put into other things. It’s almost a blue chip as far as power and darkness is concerned.

      But this is a fantasy story, and one of the genre rules of fantasy is that prophecies come true, and Jycin’s efforts to subvert that will fail, even if he wants to avoid that pain. But if it’s just the intent of the villains, those can fail.

      I disagree that my writing is to serve the reader. I think that what I write is something that means something to me, and so if it means something to someone else, they’ll read it. I tried to write for the reader once, and my story became very flat. It didn’t have anything of import in it because I was  worried about what the reader might think.

      *headscratch* But in this case, this event changes the entire emotional tone of the story, which is going to change how the meaning is conveyed to your readers. Just because your writing is to serve the readers does not mean that we write for the readers. We don’t write for the readers, we write for our Lord Jesus Christ. We bring his meaning and his truth into a dying world, so you’re writing approach isn’t wrong. Continue writing like this and you will succeed.

      But how the meaning is conveyed is what we are niggling at here. If your meaning is conveyed best by having this character die and plunging your story into the darkness (darn, now I want to read that story because of the abortion thing, and then the emotional contrast of this dad’s grief against the heartless behavior of these child-sacrificers) or by saving her (I am not standing for this corruption and I am saving my child from YOU!!!). The meaning is still conveyed either way, but it depends on whether the dark emotion breaks the immersion – if you’re writing this story for little kids, obviously the second option is the better choice. If you’re writing for adults and teens, the first choice is PROBABLY better because it gives the dad more emotional complexity and makes the villains look even worse. Can your audience understand that emotional complexity/contrast, or are they going to look at that death and conclude that the villains won?

      What I would do is have the girl die and have the dad’s grief propel him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the child-sacrifice thing, but it’s your story and it’s up to you. Regardless though, you’ve got me on the edge of my seat wanting to read this one, so go for it! 😀

      Sarah, Miss S, Sierepica_Fuzzywalker

      #86140

      Ariel Ashira
      @ashira

      @alia “Seeing as how if I do kill her off I’ll end up probably failing at doing it justice, I now feel like I have a lot to live up to.” Well, you have me if you need help… 😀

      @myclipboardismyviolin  I agree with what you said!  Sorry, I didnt mean to sound mad. 🙂 I think Throne Warden was saying that he would only write help people who are looking for escapism and nothing else, though.

       

      "No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."

      #86372

      I was wrong. I realize that now.

      "Hurry! Reading is fun!" Jinto Queb
      "Words are fires. Use them wisely." Vip, my tiny dragon

      #86373

      Anyways, I’m not going to debate any more.

      "Hurry! Reading is fun!" Jinto Queb
      "Words are fires. Use them wisely." Vip, my tiny dragon

      #86592

      Theresa Play
      @theresa-play

        @myclipboardismyviolin, interesting thing is, the thought of killing her off didn’t even appear until right before New York passed the after birth abortion law. just a few days before that I thought that it might add an interesting element to my book, and then that happened. The thing about fictional books is that they almost always reflect what is going on in the world, its really interesting. So it would be a somewhat subtle way of discussing abortion.

        What I would do is have the girl die and have the dad’s grief propel him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the child-sacrifice thing, but it’s your story and it’s up to you. Regardless though, you’ve got me on the edge of my seat wanting to read this one, so go for it!

        are you looking inside my head???

        well, disappointing that you don’t play, but cool metaphor.

        It really has to do with how powerful Jycin is versus how much power the villains have, that would determine her death or not. I think you should first decide how much power each side needs based on the larger story that you have and go from there. Granted, this could be a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Obviously if the girl dies, that weakens Jycin’s side considerably since he will be suffering from grief, and if the little girl grows up she might help Jycin later. On the other hand, if the villains don’t get what they want, they will get stronger and angrier and more and more bent on revenge, and Jycin will have to expend resources to protect her that he might have put into other things. It’s almost a blue chip as far as power and darkness is concerned.

        But this is a fantasy story, and one of the genre rules of fantasy is that prophecies come true, and Jycin’s efforts to subvert that will fail, even if he wants to avoid that pain. But if it’s just the intent of the villains, those can fail.

        good point

        @ashira 🙂

        @nuetrobolt, thank you for all your input 🙂

        "My prayer is that when I die, all of hell rejoices that I am out of the fight."
        - C. S. Lewis

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