1. irbyma7297
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    irbyma7297 New Member

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    how to make readers care about a character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by irbyma7297, Dec 24, 2011.

    i need to make the readers feel sad when one of the main's friends dies in the second chapter.
    The first chapter is in the main's perspective.
    In the second, the friend talks about what happened that day, how she dies, and what it was like to die.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    The key is to give them a lot of character development. I'd personally recommend more than just a single chapter before that character dies, if there's any way to do so without bogging down the story too much.
     
  3. Anarchist_Apple84
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    Anarchist_Apple84 Senior Member

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    Yes, doing it so early on makes it a bit more difficult to build up a good amount of empathy for the character and feel their loss.

    If you do it a little later in the story it will give you the chance to develop the role of the friend more giving it more impact when they die, especially if it is completely unexpected.

    If you do decide to keep it that early, you could consider "flashback" chapters. This will give you a chance to flesh out the character more and demonstrate different aspects of their friendship, as it is entirely expected that someone who has just lost a friend will be reminiscing about the times they shared with others, which may vary from the first time they met, to their happiest moment, and even looking back on arguments they had - as you can see there is so much potential to explore the character's dynamic and flesh them both out, all the while making the reader all weepy-eyed ;)

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, one chapter is a little scarse, I think the best would be to include the soon-to-be dead character in the first chapter and make the reader get to know him/her, so that the reader has some kind of relation to him/her, because if you just mention that the mc's best friend died without the reader ever meeting him/her it would be hard to feel anything else that "Oh, that's sad" and then keep reading and forgetting about him.
     
  5. naturemage
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    naturemage Active Member

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    In my story, my main character's father dies in the very first chapter. It's a chance to get the readers hooked, by wondering what else will happen. However, an emotional attachment to a character in the first chapter is a little much to expect. Sure, you might feel bad for the guy, but I agree the sadness is a little much to expect without a friend relationship.
     
  6. irbyma7297
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    irbyma7297 New Member

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    yeah, i was going for you sorta believe that this character is real.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Character development is not what makes a character likeable. The protagonist is our vehicle into their story and world (even if it's Earth). Now, it's how a protagonist is shown to us that makes them likeable. A Clockwork Orange is a brilliant example of having a main character who you'd hate as a person, but you love as a character. It's not about his development. It's about his situation.

    Similarly, with minor characters and such, whether they're likeable will largely depend on their relationship with the protagonist. We don't fall in love with the love interest because she's lovable. We fall in love with the love interest because the protag loves him/her. Of course, you do have to remember not to have a character be a dick. If your protag is falling in love with a racist piece of white trash, we're probably not going to feel great about that, but, hey! Maybe that's the story you're writing and it's the point of contention and it's the reason for your protag to become a better person.
     
  8. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine Member

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    I would allow people to get to know the character before hand even a chapter or two, what also helps is how those around react. whether that person is likable will depend on their relationship with the MC. How many people have lost a mother or father it'll work for those that have and people will sympathise. But i think the character should be introducted before they die and allow people to see the Relationship with the Main Character
    x
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Do you care enough about the character to be sad writing the death? If not, don't expect the reader to care.

    If so, figure out what it is about the character that makes you care, and convey that to the reader. What it is can vary greatly, depending on the character.
     
  10. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    to make them sad maybe have the character who dies make a sacrifice/something important thats positive before he/she dies? one of my character in chapter 4 dies too and he sacrifices himself so that his nephew has a higher chance of being spared by a group of assailants...despite he was not developed much since he had only been alive for 4 chapters, readers still feel sorry for him bcz of what he did :)
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have people actually said that they were sad because of it, or are you just assuming they would be? The way you worded it, it doesn't sound like someone told you. To be honest, I look at self-sacrifice situations and think, "Really? They're sacrificing themselves?" In real life, self-sacrifice is rare. When faced with death, there are very few people who would think rationally enough like that.
     
  12. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    I agree. I'm not going to care at all about a self sacrificing character. It's too obvious the author is trying to make me feel something.
     
  13. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    well he just did something for his nephew which would give him a better chance of survival, the uncle already understood he was going to die, he just wanted to die in a way which allowed the boy to live. and yeah two people told me they were sad after it, my mum (i know doesnt really count) and a local writer near my area, friend of my dad, who im showing the first couple of chapters in my novel to....and thats all ive shown it to atm.
     

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