1. darklordbob
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    darklordbob Member

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    Character Death

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by darklordbob, Jun 30, 2008.

    So, I've been planning on doing a webcomic for a while, and it looks like I'll have an artist to help me out in August, but in the time before then, I've been trying to get everything as down as I can, so I thought I'd ask for some advice in regards to character death.

    First, there are several kinda character deaths. Three "gods" get their souls sealed into swords, and one of their former servants dies, however, his soul remains because its desire for revenge keeps it from moving on. When people take the swords, they share their bodies with the souls of the gods, so that's how the gods are reborn. The servant is cloned, and because his soul hadn't moved on, it occupies the cloned body. However, these are all deaths that the reader is supposed to know aren't permanent. The potential problem lies with a character who finds a way to cheat death, and so refuses to die. After a certain point, the reader is expected to know that the character will survive and come back every time, but I'm worried if that will detract from the reader caring about said character.

    Also, at the end, I plan on killing the main character, the servant previously mentioned, because he's sort of earned death as a final rest, but I worry that people will see it as unneccessarilly killing the main character and not see the meaning in it. Advice anyone?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe I am missing the point, but what's the big deal or concern with death since it sounds as if virtually every character that 'dies' doesn't actually die, or can get around dying if they try hard enough.

    If all characters can and will survive (I guess until the end where death is a gift by a god for service), what mystery, or concern will the reader have with the conflict possibly costing the character his life.

    It's like watching a television program where a character might die, but the viewers have already seen the previews for next week with the character at risk alive and well. No suspense, no tention.

    Maybe life and death isn't the main point of the storyline, or part of the confict (or there is much more complexity...like separation from a loved one even), but if not, why the concern over the death of a character?

    Terry
     
  3. InkDancer
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    InkDancer Senior Member

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    Instead of trying to outsmart your readership, anticipate those criticisms. At some point, your readers are going to figure out that whenever that character dies, he comes back. Well, come up with something else with emotional impact for those stories to be about.

    Perhaps in order to come back, that character must possess and destroy the soul of someone else. Or perhaps when he comes back, there is a period of time in which he doesn't know who he is, and during that time the protagonists have the opportunity to kill him for good. (What if they get it wrong and kill an innocent?) You've got lots of places that can go.

    As for your main character, all you need to do is to establish a character arc where dying at the end feels like closure for the reader. Make that the outcome the reader wants, and they won't feel cheated.
     
  4. darklordbob
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    darklordbob Member

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    Okeedokee... The way I want to draw the reader in with the guy who refuses to die is that to survive, he becomes more man than machine, and sacrifices his humanity. He feels like a disappointment to his father figure, who can't comfort him because he's dead, but he can't undo what has been done, yet, because he knows the main character needs his help.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Remember that the character is not real. The character is a component in a story. Therefore you don't owe him anything, and what he earms is irrelevant.

    The real question is, how does his death serve the story? What manner of death best fulfils that purpose? If his death is a final victory, you must write the triumph into his death.

    Does that help?
     

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