1. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    Brainstorming possible ending for a couple of characters

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Katria, Dec 1, 2014.

    Hello. I'm writing a fantasy novel that I'm thinking of getting published in the future. I'm thinking of making it trilogy, and actually I'm done with the draft for the first book. I have vague notes and ideas about what will happen in the other two books but, of course, they are still on the making. The thing is, I'm struggling about a couple of characters in my story--Actually, I'm just clueless as to what to do with them by the end of the third novel. That is to say, whether there will be a happy ending, tragedy or something else.

    I'll give a brief explanation of the characters. They are both male (first thing which makes it complicated), and one is a prince (or rather, King), and the other is his personal adviser (...which makes it even more complicated). From the very start, one would say there's no way they can end up together. In fact, both characters seemed to understand that from the beginning. I even made the prince reluctant of starting a relationship with his adviser (for seventeen years, no less) for this very same fact. It wasn't after the risk of truly seeing the other die appeared that they...became "official", so to speak. But of course, in the long run, the people in the kingdom probably won't be accepting this relationship. And that's where I am struggling.

    I'm not sure what to do with them, and I simply want ideas. So far, I have thought of three options:
    - Happy Ending. Prince gives up his kingdom, elects someone from the court to be the heir, and leaves kingdom together with his adviser to live happily ever after. (Too cliche and overly unrealistic).
    - Tragic Ending. One of them dies. Thing is, their relationship is so...sick, for lack of a better term, that I fear for the sanity of the one that remains alive.
    - Tragic Ending II. Both of them die in an epic battle or something.

    I would like more options...At least, an option that is not too, let's say, 'happy' nor too tragic. I know I'm not giving too many details and that might make it difficult to brainstorm, but anything might help.
     
  2. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Princes get personal advisers? I didn't know that.
    I don't jive that logic. You fear for your characters as if they are real people, but you don't mind bumping one off?o_O

    I find—stressing the I, as in, personally—in stories (never real life), that lovers forced to separate when there was a chance they could've been together forever is more heartbreaking than needless, melodramatic death. For instance, why can't things just... not work out?

    The prince could be unable to leave him kingdom, because his father is ill and the country will only accept a true heir. He's willing to be with his advisor strictly behind-the-scenes. However, his advisor doesn't like having to sneak around, so he approaches the prince. The advisor has an ultimatum prepared, but realizes at the last moment that it isn't realistic or fair to serve the prince with such an awful decision. Instead, the advisor either leaves a note or just says goodbye.

    Something like that might leave it open for that encore book, where the two get back together for one last adventure:whistle:
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
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  3. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    Perhaps I didn't word myself correctly, but of course, I'm going to cry my hearts out over having to kill one of my characters xD; It's one of the reasons I want brainstorming about this, because, while I have that as an option, it's definitely one I don't want to carry out.

    Hmm...Well, that's an interesting idea. I had thought of something similar, but it just pains me so much for them xD;
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a little confused. You didn't specifically identify this trilogy as a romance, but you seem to have an unspoken assumption that it must be. It is possible to have a book with two (or more) characters that are not romantically linked.

    Could you clarify?

    Edited to add: You also seem to be assuming that this will be a homophobic culture. You could assume otherwise, given that you're creating this world.
     
  5. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    It's not strictly romance, but let's say it plays an important part in the story. Also, these two characters are not the main characters, they are secondary, but that doesn't make them any less important :p

    PS: I love your avatar. haha
     
  6. Some_Bloke
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    Some_Bloke Active Member

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    It depends on what kind of world they live in. If it's a gritty, more realistic world I'd go with having one of them get killed and the other one attempting revenge.
     
  7. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Such a vague outline of the story makes it difficult to brain storm possible endings. Is killing one of them an option in the second book or should it be left until the third book? As neither are the MC, is it viable for the MC to become aware of the relationship and post the adviser to a remote region in an attempt to avoid any upheaval?
     
  8. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    What are you agonizing over a detail like this for?

    You haven't even got the first book published yet - you haven't even got it edited yet - but you're trying to sort out what happens to a couple of minor characters at the end of book III?

    My WIP currently calls for my MC to die at the end of the book, but I haven't yet worked out whether it's murder (and by whom), suicide or accident...or whether to let him live. That's something that will become clearer as I get closer, so for now I'll just plough on with the writing.
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, I don't quite agree. If she is writing a series, she does need to work out details like this, in order to focus the first book, maybe even do some foreshadowing of things to come. She needs to create the right sort of character arcs and develop personalities so when the series ends it all makes sense, and there aren't huge holes in the plot. Details don't have to be all plotted out beforehand, but it's perfectly sensible to think about what may happen to any character down the line.

    My own novel will have a sequel, which I started writing while editing the first one. Believe me, I had to tweak some bits of the first novel during the edit, so events, locations and characters would dovetail smoothly into the second one. I've rejigged bits of the timeframe and locations, and changed a few names as well.

    I'd say if you're planning sequels to your story, you obviously must write the stories and not just plot them. But rushing to publication of the first in the series can be a bit of a mistake. You aren't able to make these kinds of changes, once the story is 'in print.'

    A series of books is essentially an ongoing story. So it makes sense to think about what the ending of that story might be.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
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  10. lustrousonion
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    lustrousonion Contributing Member

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    “The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.” I think the same could be said for minor characters, and it would make for a richer story. IMO I don't mind the idea of happy ending for the two of them, but they should have a hell of a time getting there.
     
  11. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    @Gawler: The ending is for the third book. They should remain alive until then, that is, until the third book is close to its end. The MC knows of their relationship since the very beginning (or at least, is suspicious of it), though she doesn't really mind.

    @Shadowfax: Well, I love those two characters, and the fact that I haven't come up with a decision as to what to do with them is something that bothers me. Also, I don't particularly like working as I go--I like to have things sort of planned, at least a bit, to know where I have to go. I'm not talking about details either, but knowing whether my characters will live or die sort of helps.

    @jannert: I couldn't agree more :)

    @lustrousonion: Ah, believe me, things just go crazy for them in the first novel, the second gets worse. I can only think that things get a little better in the third, but I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I would love for a happy ending for them, as boring and plain as that may be, but somehow the idea of actually doing it sort of irks me.
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Lord of the Rings was initially meant to deal with this exact conflict. Two "hobbits" crazy in love but stuck in a world that will not accept them. The only solution is to devise an elaborate and unnecessary trip up to the fires of Mt. Doom and await their death. In short, I'd pick the route Tolkien didn't have the guts to finish. Go with tragic ending II.
     
  13. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    It is one of the few endings I came up with, and one I'm...reluctant to carry out at the moment. So that's why I'm exploring other options.
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Which ending seems to flow most naturally from the story? By the time you get done writing the third book, you may be in a much different place than you imagine, and which ending is best (one of these, or something else entirely) will probably become more clear as you're writing. I think any of them can work fine so long as it makes sense within the context of the story you've developed.
     
  15. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think I'd vote for the tragic ending (one dies, or one dies and the other kills himself shortly after) 'cause the masochist in me wants to wish and wish for the happy ending yet somewhere in the back of my mind I'm semi-secretly hoping the author wouldn't give it to me, that they'd had the guts (I don't know why I think of it has having the guts) to turn it all to misery, and then I'll be super sad and a bit angry at the author, but at the same time I'm like 'that was so refreshing!'

    But honestly, do whatever works for the story best. You might not know the ending before you arrive there. Been there, no matter how much I've wanted and tried to plan.
     
  16. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    Why not make it look like option 2 and 3 are the most likely outcomes until the end? Have lots of tragedy occur throughout the trilogy but end it with option 1? Not the happy, mushy, cheesy version of option 1, but the most realistic version you can come to. Ending a story with tragedy is one thing. Ending an entire trilogy with tragedy is just mean.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
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  17. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    What is this? Becket? Sorry but this plot sounds a lot like Becket. Anyways I believe if anything the advisor should be killed somehow, and then the king avenges him or something like that. Having both the characters die is somewhat pointless in my opinion, but that's just me.
     
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  18. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like this suggestion very much!

    One of my favorite trilogies did just that. Mean, perhaps, but I actually really liked it 'cause for that story, it was the most realistic outcome.
     
  19. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    @KaTrian: first of all, kudos on our usernames being slightly similar :eek:
    Thanks for the advices. To be honest, I haven't been thinking so much about what would fit the story, but rather what would fit to my liking (and maybe that's wrong). I want them to end together, but at the same time I don't want to do it very easy for them. And somehow, option 1 seemed like that. I'm not so sure I have the stomach to kill one or both characters either, or at least I don't do just yet. I'm intent in making them suffer as much as I can though--Which might not be much, mind you. Then again, I might end the damn trilogy in like 2-3 years from now, and I'll surely have a different mindset by then. :p

    @AlannaHart: Well, that is one option I hadn't considered in that way. I'm not so sure to be able to make the reader -think- these two characters are going to die, but I'm willing to try...

    @theoriginalmonsterman: I haven't seen Becket, and now I'm deadly curious...
     
  20. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Good movie if you ever get around to watching. I'm sure you didn't intend for your story to sound like it, but you should make sure you're n0t copying someone else's idea before writing a story.
     
  21. Katria
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    Katria Member

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    Eh, I could have never thought I was the first one coming up with a king x adviser kinda thing.
     
  22. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, one of my writer friends always says, "Life is full of pain as it is. In my fiction, I like to have happy endings. I didn't read for reality."

    Sometimes being realistic isn't everything. If you want your characters to live, then make it happen. You're the author, after all.

    Esp if you say the two characters already went through hell in books 1 and 2, to then kill them off or give them a tragic ending is just mean, after the readers have been egging them on for 3 whole books and just waiting for things to finally go right for them.

    Seriously, this is fiction. Unless your book and the tone of it is very gritty and realistic (which I'm guessing it isn't considering it's fantasy), a happy ending that fits logically in with the story is just fine. It doesn't have to be how it would actually turn out in real life. Think of what sort of story/series this is, and then perhaps the right ending would come to you. Other times perhaps the right ending won't come till you get round to writing it.

    But personally, I say, if you want to give them a happy ending, then give them a happy ending. Make it realistic if you have to - you're the author. You have the POWER. ULTIMATE, UNLIMITED POWER!!!

    :D
     
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  23. rycbar123
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    rycbar123 Member

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    Then the happy ending still leaves them with some problems and isn't automatically cheesy and unrealistic. Death isn't always necessarily more realistic. Westeros has a high death rate, but that doesn't mean your world has to for it to be "realistic" as long as every character doesn't live through every situation against all odds.

    You didn't say much about the plot, but if the threat is a smaller scale one (e.g., Sir Whinesalot searches for his missing brother Sir Diesalot, as opposed to a mission to save the entire magical kingdom of Wyrever), then it might be more believable that both characters live than if it's an epic quest plot.
     

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