1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cheese, acceptible or not?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by GuardianWynn, Nov 28, 2014.

    I have been having much doubt about a WIP. The epilogue of it, is kind of cheesy. I am wondering if in context this is bad.

    Without giving much away a character is told by a god like character that in order to make up for their past they need to fight in a battle. They are told that if they fight, they will die. So it is a large moment there character deciding if they care enough to give up there life for the sack of others. The thing I they do fight and their don't die. This is a fake out right?

    The thing is though, it isn't just "insert sappy happy ending," there is a point to it. The point is that the god like characters were not mistaken, they knew full well they would survive, they lied. Why? Because they thought the act of fighting was a worthless gesture unless the character thought they were giving up everything for it.

    So is that kind of fake out a bad ending?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It does have a Hollywood-ending feel about it. I would want more of a reason for the character's survival.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There must be some way to do it where the character is led to believe that the gods will kill him if he does not fight, and the gods do nothing to disabuse him of this notion, but they don't actually say it.

    It might still be kind of cheesy, but you might be able to pull it off.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It could be kind of cool if you had the gods lying and tricking the character all through the book, so this final trick is just one more 'gotcha'.

    But if there was no foreshadowing or hinting about it, I think I'd feel a bit ripped off, yeah.
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yeah, it is simply that she was strong enough to survive. I know what you mean though, when media goes "If I do this, I will die." and they don't die and they don't give anything to explain it, it just feels like a cheap fake out. In this case it was the information was false. The god like beings knew she would survive but lied to her.

    No, the gods didn't intend to kill the character, the point was very much a "If you do fight, you die, and if you don't fight, you don't deserve to live." Does that make sense?

    Funny enough, the fact that the character is strong is no secret, and they constantly imply that they aren't telling her everything. Like moments where the character directly asks a question and they simply say they don't intend to ever answer that question and they would do well not to try figure out the answer.
    Does that count?
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not really, for me. Because refusing to answer is still honesty, right? Like, if she asked the gods if she'd survive the battle and they refused to answer, THAT would fit with them refusing to answer earlier. But if you set up a pattern where the gods are honest with her and feel free to refuse to answer when they don't want to, then I'd say you've established a pattern of the gods being truthful, and you're kind of breaking that pattern at the end, so it feels like a cheat.
     
  7. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is useful, let them imply it and the character intrupret it wrong, and they never correct the character. Or something along that lines? Funny enough, the characters survivals was not ensured. They could have died, just the odds were low.

    So you think maybe something like;
    "So what happens to me if I go?"
    "I would say goodbye to those you care about"
    "I see"
    Would work then?

    So do you agree with the point of them misleading the character? It is sort of a or this is how they might react upon the characters confused return.
    "You have earned the right to be happy today, but what you did, it only counted because you felt doing it gave up everything. If you had known you would live than your choice today wasn't going to be hard. Because it was hard it was meaningful. I am sorry for misleading you."
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Meh. Sounds like the god ISN'T sorry for misleading the character, right?

    I don't know. It's pretty hard to say without reading the whole thing... I can only speak in generalities.
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I have to note that "you don't deserve to live" is NOT the same thing as "you will die."
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also thank you, your feedback was most helpful.
    Since I was going to post things about this story in more detail in other threads I didn't want to publicly spoil the ending, but if you are more curious, I would be happy to PM you more details.

    And I think they did it because they knew it would make the character happy in the long run. I think they would regret that they had put them through such an emotional roller coaster to reach it.

    Yeah, like I said, the gods don't intend to kill the character. The idea is they can chose to live but if they do, they will have there whole life to lament how they don't deserve it. Does that make sense?
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This wouldn't work for me. I would very strongly dislike these manipulative, passive-aggressive gods, and that would eliminate any satisfaction in the successful service that the character had done for them.
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wait huh? I am not sure what you mean, or how you have drawn these conclusions.
    Could you explain in greater detail please?
    Thank you
     
  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I interpret the quote from the gods, the one that I quoted in my post, in that way. A god that would do and say that is, to me, condescending and manipulative. Yeah, I know that gods are supposed to be gods, but I want to somehow not dislike them as fervently as I would dislike these.
     
  14. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, technically they are being manipulative. So if you were the character, you would hate them for this, even though they guided you to happiness? Also it wouldn't have worked if they were clear about what they were doing. Then again, the story isn't about them but what happens to the character being manipulated. lol
     
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have examined this sentence with powerful scientific instruments, and it doesn't make any sense at all. :wtf:
     
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  16. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    O.O Damn, nice catch!
    "The thing is, they do fight and don't die"
    So did that really block you from getting the context of the question?
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know if I'd hate them if I were the character, but I'd hate them if I were the reader. And, yeah, I suppose I would have trouble identifying with a character that wasn't angry at the manipulation.

    I'm not saying that you couldn't succeed with this, but I guess I'm saying that the exact words that you posted wouldn't succeed for me. I think that if I were doing this, I'd be less explanatory and Wise Words and more matter-of-fact:

    "I'm not dead."

    "Right."

    "You said I'd be dead."

    "Yeah."

    "And?"

    "We lied."

    "You--what the--was this some kind of test?"

    "Yep."

    "I'm not going to be worshipping you any more."

    "We figured."


    That doesn't actually work, it just reflects the dryer, more matter-of-fact view that could theoretically work for me.
     
  18. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol I suppose the context I posted doesn't really explain the gods reasoning. There is a reason and context to it, that makes it less, ... mean? But I won't post it here because I think it would derail the topic. Which is more on if it seems cheesy or bad plot to show the character live for this reason. I am mildly tempted for the character to die and to change the theme to something more tradgic.

    Also if your more curious on the gods motive, let me know and I would be glad to share in a PM :)
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm curious, and would be happy to receive the PM, but I suspect that I won't be any more accepting of the gods. :)
     
  20. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Can the gods be outsmarted? 'Cause yeah, I think I'd be a bit disappointed that they were just messing with her, unless it's a dry, humorous exchange in @ChickenFreak's example. But if she can actually somehow blindside gods and survive, and it's not done in a silly way, I'd probably be more accepting. Provided these gods are not omnipotent and all-seeing...
     
  21. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Technically yeah, but unlikely. They work in a group and relay on a collective opinion. They aren't messing with her, and funny guess, I went to a large effort to avoid referring to her as a girl. lol. The gods wanted her to live.
    A more accurate example would be.

    "I am not dead? Why?"

    "We lied."

    "Why?"

    "Because you once again have your humanity, you deserved a chance to enjoy it. Redemption is not an easy thing to gain from this place. Redemption isn't what you do either but what you are willing to do. Today, you showed that you were willing to give up everything for the sack of another. You have earned your redemption, welcome back and enjoy your stay"

    "Thank you(tears)"
     
  22. Vifibi
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    Vifibi New Member

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    Nothing wrong with a little cheese, if cheese is what the story is about. I mean, not everyone likes it, but some people also hated Toy Story 3, so, y'know, can't please Greeks and Trojans. However, if the story is not cheesy the whole way through and you actually insert cheese only into the end, then yeah, I am very much against that. The tone of a story has to be consistent for it to work, or else people are just gonna think you got screwed by your editor or something similar.

    Also, I'm gonna tell you something you're probably not gonna like... I think you may be too attached to your character. That's not really something writers should be, in my opinion. It's pretty much the same reason a doctor can't operate on family: you get too afraid to make hard decisions on your story that, really, benefit the story as a whole, and you may overlook more glaring problems your character and/or story has due to that fact. I read this whole thread, and I gotta say, you're pretty much just making up excuses for not killing the character in my opinion. Sometimes a character just needs to get shot.
     
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  23. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I opened a thread about discussion, why would I not like useful discussion.
    Well, the theme of the story is very kind of cold actually, it is her reflecting on her mistakes. This is why I thought the cheesy ending may have been out of place. Though in restrospect her living makes more sense in a few ways. 1. She is strong, this isn't an excuse, like I think I may have touched upon earlier.
    2. The god like creatures truly don't desire her death, and they didn't need her help. It makes sense that it was a lie.

    Yeah, I did kind of grow on her but the thing is I am really not sure which is the better approach here actually.
    1. Her living
    2. Her dying
    3. It ending on her walking into the battle and not showing what happens to her.

    Just as you said, the story may want her to die, I could see a general audience calling bull on me for killing her(not in the can't please everyone mentality) rather in the "that the story was about her redeeming herself, for her to achieve it by dying, when for the first time she deserved to live and be happy is anti climatic!" But I could see the same being said if she lived "She was a bad person, getting a good life after only one redeeming act was too easy, espically when by living she didn't actually have to give anything up!"

    So as you can see I am conflicted. the idea of that I grown to attached to her and didn't want to kill her has actually crossed my mind, but I think there is arguments for both sides here.

    So what do you think with a bit more context thrown in?
     
  24. Vifibi
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    Vifibi New Member

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    Hm. Well, I must say, I've always been more on the "Let them wonder" kind of ending. If she already has explored her troubled past and has resolved all of her issues (at least mentally), then I'd say yeah, maybe give it an ambiguous ending. After all, she went into the battle not knowing whether she would live or die. That's a pretty good position to end it, right there.

    On the god creatures, if they don't want her dead nor need their help, why do they give her such a deal in the first place? You seem to have characterized your protagonist quite a lot, but not given much thought to the god-like creatures. Even gods have their reasons, after all. Maybe if you work on their motivations, a clearer answer will become more available to you, as you'll know whether or not your protagonist was a pawn of some cause, or just the plaything of the gods. After all, the gods must have a reason to give her this deal, no? Animus non venit e nihilo.
     
  25. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, actually she was under the idea that if she went she would die. So I thought not showing a ending may mislead an audience when my intension was for her to live. Then again. I have always seen the end being her walking into the battle. I just wasn't sure if I should attach a "she survived" epilogue

    And they do have a motive, it is a gift to her. Guess that doesn't count if she dies. The idea is she was being tormented by her evil actions. They made a false cause for her to fight in. Well the fight was real and the cause was real, they didn't make a fight for her but they may have over spoke her role in it. The idea was that by having this need, it gave her a chance to fight for the right thing, to make up for her mistakes. They mislead her so that there is value in her choice. She thought fighting meant death and she gladly walked into it for a chance to make up for her past. It wasn't dying that was needed, it was being willing to die. If they mentions she would have lived, then the choice wouldn't have been hard or meaningful.

    Does that make sense?
     

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