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  1. Sieglinde
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    Sieglinde Member

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    Ensemble Darkhorse stealing too much spotlight, how to kill him?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sieglinde, Feb 7, 2010.

    One of my supporting characters began to steal the show lately. He's a weak-willed young man, spying for the villain who blackmails him. He'll make some major plot points: first betraying the protagonist and his love interest to the baddie, resulting in a murder attempt against the hero, and later (being the only witness), he tells the hero's love interest it was the baddie who tried to kill the hero. Love interest kills baddie.

    And here I need to eliminate my little spy, because good guy will be tried for murder and he'll be in a great trouble if the only witness who could save him dies. :D (Yes, I'm evil.)


    What to do with my spy? Deus ex machina and accidents are right out, I just don't like coincidences.

    To know him better, he's not a baddie himself, just a poor victim who loved the villain and angsted a lot. (That's why the bastard could blackmail him.) The type girls would want to hug and comfort. ;)

    Situation: they are on a man-of-war.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What makes te better story? Having him survive the attempt on his life, and live to warn the love interest? Or to die, raising the stakes and making life less easy for the White Hats?

    I suspect that latter may introduce more tension to the story. You've used him to show the reader some of what the antagonists are planning, and the readers will feel even the pressure as a potential solution is eliminated. Also, if your character is that likeable, the readers will feel even more strongly that the antagonist should paqy for his sins.

    Remember, characters exist for the sole purpose of advancing the story. If causing them pain, loss, or even death adds something to the story, hack, stab, and poison them away!
     
  3. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    You mentioned angst...does the guy have a heart? People do lots of things out of guilt...maybe he vanishes of his own accord out of emotional confusion. Both the bad guy and the good guy would want to find him...one to finish the false accusation, the other to prove his innocence.
     
  4. Sieglinde
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    Sieglinde Member

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    I think yes, he must die. And maybe losing his beloved villain would be enough to push him over the edge. (He's already close to it.) He could kill himself, but I'm hesitant how. (Don't want some extreme or rare method).

    Just not hanging - he's terribly afraid of it and it would be too obvious for a traitor. :D
     
  5. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    It takes a bit of courage to commit suicide. That's why it is often called "accidental death by suicide"...i.e. the person kicks the chair out from under them just as they hear the key in the front door. This allows the suicide "attempt" but assures the person of being "rescued" before death. The theme is most common with overdose cases where the drugs were taken in such a time frame that coincides with the usual schedule of someone coming home. Death occurs when something happens to screw up the schedule, like the "rescue" party removes the key from the front door instead of opening it because he/she forgot to pick up her dry cleaning. In the extra twenty minutes of going to the cleaners, the person hanging, suffocates or the person who OD'd suffers cardiac arrest.

    My point is, you described this character as emotionally weak. Gun-in-the-mouth type suicide is completely inconsistent. But, running away from conflict would be more realistic. Then, "accidental death by suicide" would fit as the character tries to make a statement and doesn't really expect to die.

    Just brainstormming...any variation on this theme should make sure to keep the character consistent.
     
  6. Sieglinde
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    Sieglinde Member

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    Well, for drugs, he could take laudanum. The surgeon is not in his cabin, so our would-be-victim could steal it easily.
     
  7. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    You mentioned this is on a man of war, by which I presume you mean a ship? If that’s the case then why not have him jump ship? He could realise the situation he has got himself in and take the easy option by stealing a tender and going out on his own, or if you wish to go down the suicide/death option then there are plenty of things on board which could satisfy that need, (the ocean being the most obvious example)
     

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