1. Clipsey
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    Clipsey New Member

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    Do I kill him? Or not..

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Clipsey, Jan 18, 2012.

    So..here is the story. I constantly create long..drawn out, overdeveloped stories with my friend. We typically spend a year playing out the story, working at it basically every single day of the week for hours. Crazy, perhaps. I wish I got paid for it. But the issue is..getting this involved with the story, means getting extremely close to the characters. Now, about a year ago we began a noir style, detective story. My friend played the lead detective and I was given the role of his partner. The two partners clashed quite a bit in the start. This character I created, Charlie, was a young, headstrong, and disorganized kid. He works constant overtime to supplement the income of his parents, because they are both without employment. And he tells no one why he's constantly coming into work late and disheveled, because he feels that his role as a provider makes him an adult--and he doesn't want to compromise that feeling by opening himself up to external help.

    Alright, now you have a basic overview of this character.
    Seeing as this is a detective story, the plot is quite dangerous for those involved. Since the very beginning of Charlie's creation, I decided he should die, due to the sharp increase in crime throughout the city. I also felt that killing him would put more meaning into the story..As if to say, "sometimes, life is sad and unfair, and there's no just cause for it". The kind of pointless grief that leaves you wondering why? Prior to his death, things were starting to look up for him, and shortly following it, his mother was going to finally be employed again.

    So..There's the situation. But you see, now that I've spent a year with this Charlie, I DON't WANT TO DO THIS TO HIM. I'm afraid I'm going to regret never getting to use him again, or to see his life through to a happy ending. Should I forgo the meaningful story element to show mercy to my character, or should I go through with my original plan? Is it worth it? What do you guys think.
     
  2. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Kill him. It'd be better for all parties, including Charlie
     
  3. Wanderer
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    Wanderer Member

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    Don't compromise the story for feelings for a character, read any of the Song of Ice and Fire books, no one is safe there and every single one of them is amazing. Friends in real life could die at any moment. It's no different in fiction, losing a likeable character has an emotional impact on the reader which often makes for a better book.
     
  4. naturemage
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    naturemage Active Member

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    I agree with the emotional impact. Getting attached to a character, and seeing him die... well, it sucks. But, 1- that's life, and 2- it grabs the reader by the neck, throttles them around for a few minutes while they're grabbing a tissue, and then yanks them back into the story so they can attend the funeral. Think of all the characters the greats have killed off. Rowling did it quite a lot, especially in the last book. One book is bad for killing off a character. She killed off a few that had lasted from the beginning. That's a tear-jerker. Death is a natural part of life (as quoted by a little green Jedi), and it's true. It makes for a good plot twist, especially if no one sees it coming.
    As noted... "Kill him"
     
  5. Clipsey
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    Clipsey New Member

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    Edited to see if I'll get further comments
     
  6. The Magnan
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    The Magnan Active Member

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    I'd say kill him, if it impacts the story in the direction you want it then do it by all means. And from what you said about him, then the reader would feel devastated (But in good way) and want to read on. At least that's what I think.
     
  7. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I'd keep him If I were you.
    There is a thing about reusing your characters somewhere else like a chain link.
    Again killing is such an obvious option it makes the story like any other, nothing original about it.
     
  8. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Yo're of the belief that you should never kill characters though aren't you?

    Personally I think you should kill him. Crime fighting is dangerous so it's unrealistic for for everyone to get out okay. Plus it will have more emotional impact.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Reading what you said, it sounds like it is quite necessary for Charlie to be sacrificed. Most writers feel devastated when they have to do this, but most of the time, they say it was for he best because it gave story the meaning. To feel sad about killing the character would be the same as having sympathy for a metaphor. Because that's what characters are - metaphors for various concepts that we want to explore in our books. Not real people.
     
  10. deeann
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    deeann New Member

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    no it would not be better, isn't it better to do a series with Charlie as the main detective - if it is police force or is he a PI?
    not many detectives are killed in real life so if you want it to be realistic then maybe just injure him so you can use him again
     
  11. CH878
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    CH878 Active Member

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    I'd hardly say killing him is the obvious option, most popular writers choose not to dispatch their characters.

    It would give the story meaning, by the sounds of it, to kill him, so I'd go with that option.

    Bear in mind that you don't have to never write about the character again, you can always write more that happened before his death.
     
  12. Clipsey
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    Clipsey New Member

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    I'm amused by all of these answers. Thankyou for so many responses, it looks as though Charlie has a lot of people against him haha.
     
  13. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    Sounds like you KNOW you have to kill him, but you don't WANT to. Well, in this life we have to do and endure things we don't want to. But you just gotta suck it up and put your big boy (or girl) pants on.

    The story rules. You may not want to kill him, but if the story demands it, your own personal preferences must be put aside.

    Kill him.
     
  14. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Story over author feelings all the way. Recently I killed off a major character in my stories, it felt bad that's for sure but I tend to put my characters through hell, earning their happy ending. So I vote for killing him.
     
  15. Hellchoseme
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    Hellchoseme Member

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    Hey, I'm a Clive Barker fan and I'm used to main characters dying. I do believe that characters can only live for so long before you have to let them go (whether that be killing or not) and can't be used forever. Even the best ones have to go at some point.
     
  16. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    charlie must die. evokes emotion from the reader and is a great surprise for them since most authors keep their main characters even in situations they realistically shouldnt be surviving
     
  17. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    well the fact you asked means you have thouhgt about it twice.
    for me that could means you really do not want it killed for one reason or another.
    Imagine that in real life,reverse it to reality, and see how difficult that would be to take such a decision.
    I for one do not hastily act upon destroying what I built, in this building a character is hard work to then destroy it is for me a waste of time.
     
  18. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    @at CH878
    killing is one of the option you always see in books and movies hence it being the obvious option.
    Most of the characters are either dispatched(disappeared) or killed. Are there other options?
    how can you be so sure of the futur?
     
  19. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    shouldn't you justify their whereabouts?
    Just a friendly question.
     
  20. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Yes for reasons of plenty that I can think of.
     

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