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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fake Death Help

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by GuardianWynn, Apr 23, 2015.

    Lets see if for the first time I can actually give all the needed contest in one post.
    So the scene is a fake out kind of. Main character to whom the entire book thus far(30k to this point) has been following. She is pushed of a building and the big bad even says out loud while gloating that she is dead.

    Question is. Do I cut away and give it a moment or show her alive in the next scene.

    My thoughts. Showing her alive gets the plot moving plus I bet it is what the audience wants. Though I am not sure if is the best emotional way to show the story or the plot. Is the reader going to bet she is alive and as such be pissed to have to wait?

    Building or cliff is in the woods too. Cutting away means when I cut to her alive. I could just recap how she survived and not have to worry about showing how she got out of the woods.

    In short;
    I NEED HELP! Not sure where to go. Well I know where to go I just not sure where to go first. Advice would be gladly accepted :D
     
  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Would you fake her death and then jump to another point of view until like a chapter later you show she's actually alive?

    I'd just skip the next POV chapter and go straight to wherever her real fate is revealed. :p

    I don't know what the rules say about this, but I've seen chapters end with a fake death and a new one begin with the author revealing the character is still alive, so I don't know if that's exactly a bad option. I think I'd as a reader prefer that anyway.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, the idea was to switch POV until she is revealed as alive. Think that is going to anger the Readers?
     
  4. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've read books (in 1st person) where the main character (whose POV is kept throughout the book) dies. The following chapter(s) were from another character's POV, and personally I think that added to the story and it would not have been as good without it.

    Both alternatives can (and have) be done, so I think it's up to what you prefer and think would work best for the story.
     
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  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that either can be done. But I, as a reader, would prefer you to not reveal she's alive until you have to. What's the point of faking her death if you're just going to tell us right away that she's alive, yanno? I, as a reader, enjoy the suspense of not knowing if she's truly dead or alive and when she's going to pop up again. :)
     
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  6. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. Well killing the main character isn't something I've done but my thought is that, if you're going to pull a fakeout like that, your going to have to really invest in convincing the reader that the person is probably dead. Doing a cutaway chapter - or even several to be honest - might work. But just thinking out loud. You're giving yourself two challenges in one here...killing the main character AND pulling off a death-fakeout - so you have my best wishes, as I always like it when someone has the guts to try something with a high degree of difficulty. It will be very satisfying if you do it right.
     
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  7. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    Don't mean to distract you with my hassled inspirational idea, but you got me thinking. What if the bad guy turned out to be the good guy who let the good guy get away for making it seem like the world got rid of her. A villain's moment of weakness, or someone who saw the light at the last moment before the bad guy and the good guy team up?

    Sorry for interfering so uninvited. I'm sure it doesn't help a lot because it would ruin your story. Revealing she lives all depends on the context and the timing. Make things complicated and do it at an unexpected moment, during the grand finale, or something. That's entertaining to me.
     
  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is really why I am asking. See she falls off a cliff and the big bad says she is dead. I think a reader won't believe his word anyhow. So one approach here was to show her surviving the very next scene which I think doesn't count as a fake out. Or cutting away to give the reader a chance to pause and think she is actually dead.
     
  9. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Right - if you're not actually going for a fakeout, show her alive immediately and make it clear the villain failed.

    If you ARE going for a fakeout, you're going to need creativity. You're never going to fully convince the reader she's dead, but you can pretend for a while.

    One thought that does occur now that you mention that there is a cliff involved - depending on how far the fall is - you could have your secondary character look over the cliff and see your MC lying lifeless, bleeding, and apparently dead (when in reality they're just unconscious and really beat up). One of the more interesting death scenes in Game of Thrones right now is the character "The Hound" - who in both the books and the show is presumed dead in the text by everyone, because when you last saw him, he was mortally wounded and very clearly dying. But everybody leaves him to die and walks away - so very few people actually think he's dead...but there's a very real possibility that he actually is dead which is why no one is sure. So if you're going to do it, you need to stack up as many pieces of evidence as you can to show that the character is dead - and the best way to do that might be to have a "body" as evidence.
     
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  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Damn now I wonder if I am stupid.

    First draft so can always be edited later. I went with cutting away but the story kind of needed her back. So I only cut away for like 1,000 words. lol Then I cut back to her. Is that bad?
     
  11. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Depends on how you did it. Keep writing. You'll be fine. In fact I'd let it rest for a while while you go further, then come back to it later.
     
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  12. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    The line "Nobody could have survived a fall like that!" is a bit a cliché - not that you're planning to use it, but if you mention the main character lying lifeless on the ground, you're not necessarily saying they're dead.

    The MC may need some help to recover though, if the story is to be believable.
     
  13. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Her body isn't actually seen. The fall was too high for him to see and no he doesn't say that line. I had him say "(MC NAME) is dead."

    She is pretty banged up. Not so much that she can't walk. So she pretty much stumble walks to a city to where she collapses and stuff. lol

    How did she survive? Combination of quick thinking and magic.

    Do you think it is bad to cut away though if I only cut away briefly?
     
  14. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cutting away briefly should make the readers wonder if she died or not

    The antagonist might think she's dead if he doesn't know about the magic involved.
     
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