1. nippy818
    Offline

    nippy818 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    colorado

    Death of a mentor

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by nippy818, Apr 20, 2014.

    Currently I am working on a sci fi epic. its cliche but I enjoy the growth of a character through the Death of their mentor. my question is how early in a story should the mentor die? too soon i fear the audience wont understand the extent of the relationship between the two characters too late and it may loose its effect. i am by no means looking for a page or chapter number but how far into the narrative should it happen.
     
  2. Glen Snow
    Offline

    Glen Snow Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    It really depends on the story itself. I have read books that have the mentor die very early and use the MCs thoughts and mild flashbacks to show the strength of the relationship. A few question you might ask yourself: How hard will this impact the MC? Will there be a replacement mentor? Are you shoehorning in the "Obi-Wan" moment just to have one? I've seen quite a few (mostly fantasy) books that could do without the mentor entirely.


    {SPOILER}
    I find Eragon has a text book mentor death. If you haven't read it you might want to. The death will no longer come as a surprise due to the subject matter of this topic, but it is a good example.
     
  3. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    I would suggest to have the mentor die when the MC needs him or her most and things are looking blackest.
     
    jannert likes this.
  4. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Likes Received:
    4,228
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Or maybe the mentor dies without warning, when everyone least expected it to happen.

    Say he/he's a depressed alcoholic who drank for years until your MC gave him/her a reason to keep going. Unfortunately, the old habits slowly returned and before anyone suspected it, he/she succumbed to the drink.

    Just a thought to twist up the whole 'mentor died' thing.
     
  5. Acanthophis
    Offline

    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    330
    Location:
    Canada
    Your mentor can die early on, honestly. The mentor does not need to be alive for the relationship with the MC to keep going, especially if your MC idoloises your mentor. You could have the mentor die in the first few chapters (I know you're not looking for numbers), but they are in a way being kept alive by your MC's constant wish to fulfill the wish of their mentor.

    Look at Batman; his parents (who are his biggest mentors) are gunned down at the beginning of his journey, yet 20 years later he is fighting crime and constantly 'communing' with their graves, hoping he isn't letting them down, hoping he is fulfilling their philanthropic lifestyles.
     
  6. nippy818
    Offline

    nippy818 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    colorado
    so many great ideas. I am going to have to try all these ideas and figure out what works best for the book.
     
  7. justlang
    Offline

    justlang Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    3
    If it's a short story, soon. If it's anything longer, you might want to delay it and the rest of the major plots you might have in mind, which might not fit with the story making you abandon it, as often happens.
     
  8. nippy818
    Offline

    nippy818 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    colorado
    okay so i tested it at the end of chapter 3. the major plot points have been planted and a few sub plots are planted as well. I did it brutal and fast, mid sentence interrupted with a very descriptive noir style ambush and confirmed the death with a quote from George Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant." so far it has tested well with my writing buddies
     

Share This Page