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A question as a writer.

Thal Dec 20, 2016

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  1. Thal

    Thal dddd

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    I actually wrote something a few days ago. You can find it in literature. I have a question. It is necessarily bad to have a regular cast of characters that won't be dying out ala Attack on Titan, Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, or whatever series you can think of. Like, as I am influenced by authors who do more darker works, like GRRM, Jim Butcher and Joe Abercrombie.

    Neccessarily, some people will die, but generally on both sides of the conflict (as in this case, I really don't want a simple black and white view in my books, as everyone in my book will be less-than-perfect in some way) people will generally survive, since, well, to be fair, unless it's the kind of Stormtrooper or Red Shirt character, and even then, I don't really want to give off the effect that death is cheap.

    Is it bad that I kind of want a regular cast of characters?
     
  2. Tom

    Tom dddd

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    In my opinion? No. Not in the slightest.

    In fact, having a handful of characters that simply does not get killed seems to be the norm, whereas GRRM and other "Dark" Authors seem to be in the minority of grim bastards who seemingly like killing off Main characters (Looking at you, George R.R. Martin! Stop killing my Favorite characters, you bastard!)

    I mean sure, having a meaningful death once every so often is a good way to keep tension and realism up and I am quite partial to such works, but the opposite is by no means a bad thing.

    But I'm not an author. These are just my opinions. I'm sure someone with a better grasp of writing will swoop in any second now and give their two pence on the matter.
     
  3. Thal

    Thal dddd

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    But basically, I do plan to do some bad shit to my characters. I have ideas from gibbeting, to crucifixion, to being well, you get the idea. I have some nasty shit in store. They may or may not die, but generally, I'll prefer if I keep a more regular ensemble.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom dddd

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    *Chuckles* That I can understand. You think it was pleasant for my Avatar to get all those scars? He earnt them in roleplays, after all. Suppose we're both just a bit sadistic, ain't we? ;)
     
  5. White Timberwolf

    White Timberwolf dddd

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    Thal, more often than not you'll find that writers don't actually have someone dying often/commonly in their writing, simply because they don't favor that. Personally, I believe it's due to their lack of actually making a character that they spent so much time fleshing out end without a plausible reason for it.

    Though I will say that a well done character that dies can have a very eventful impact on the direction of the story, depending on whom it is and what they were capable of.
     
  6. Glacialangel

    Glacialangel Member

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    Coming from another professional writer, I personally feel that having some kind of cast of characters that the reader can relate to or understand is important to make the story move along and be enjoyable. Whether or not they die later on is of no consequence to this, as long as the story meant something to the reader, which is a highly subjective thing. Having a character with goals, flaws, quirks, friends, enemies, and needs makes them relatable and understandable. It makes the reader care when they're crucified or killed, which is what you want. This is all elementary, and I'm sure you already knew "relatable character makes reader care more", but I personally feel that it's the only thing that matters. Whether they die or not mostly impacts the plot, so really you should ask yourself "has this character served their purpose in the story?".
     
  7. kibamoon

    kibamoon Active Member

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    You can honestly use both to your advantage in the same story. Having a character that has been through it since the beginning make it to their final goal is an extremely satisfying thing, just as it's agonizing when a similar character gets so close to success and then gets an untimely death. Both can elicit a response from your reader, and depending on which particular response you want them to feel, you can go either way.

    Say you want your reader to completely understand who the antagonist is. You want him to be clearly distinguished from your good guys. Perhaps he's the big boss and he doesn't take shit from anyone, he's willing to do anything to get the job done. So, just as your protagonist gets right about where he needs to be and he's about to open the door and find the treasure he's been after for his entire life, and he's going to use it to pay for the life-saving surgery that his sister desperately needs - bam! Here comes Big Boss with a game changer and he kills your character. It's just as shockingly sudden and resolute as it would be in real life. He puts a piece of lead through the good guy and takes the treasure for himself. Immediately, your reader hates this dude. And why shouldn't they? He just killed a guy or gal who was out to do the right thing and they were about to do it too.

    This is used to great effect in GoT, where you start to like a character and you know they're going to set things straight, and suddenly real life hits them like a ton of bricks and off comes their head. It's realistic, because that's what happened in the time that that story is set and its equivalent time in real life was just the same. So, in my opinion, it depends on how you use it, just don't overuse it. If the reader knows the main characters aren't going to die, then they read each paragraph knowing that all the good guys go home in the end. Again, if you want that suspense between each sentence filling the void, then don't forget to remind the reader on occasion that your main characters aren't exactly safe from life. You can even use their survival despite the odds being against them as a way to build your characters further.

    Tl;dr You're the author and you're the architect of your story, so you decide how it's going to go. Have the characters be invincible, or have them get killed. But it sure is fun to toy with the reader and hold their characters' lives over the fire. Just... if you kill them off, don't just kill them off to do it or you'll really upset your reader in a hurry, and not in a good way. It's really easy to lose your readers' interests if they can't understand why it happened.
     
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