1. CadillacXLR8r
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    CadillacXLR8r Member

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    I have my opinion on this but, what's yours?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by CadillacXLR8r, Sep 3, 2011.

    I already have what I think I should do, but my new story has a kid growing up at a ship harbour that is frequently visited by pirates. Not to steal, but it has a good pub, so they frequently come by. He makes some friends with some of the pirates and hangs out with them whenever they come around. He works at the docks because his mom is sick, and he wants to help her. Should I try and stretch out the beginning to get the reader to like the mom before I kill her? Or do I kill her off as soon as possible? I would like to hear what everybody's opinion is.
     
  2. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I doesn't matter how the reader feels about her if she's not an important character. It matters only how the MC feels about her and how you portray those feelings to the reader.
     
  3. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    That really depends on what purpose the mother's character is supposed to serve...will your readers being fond of her help further your plot? Does it make a difference whether they care about her or not? I don't think any of us know enough about your story to be able to give you informed input on this.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it necessary that the reader like her? Or is it only necessary to know how the kid felt about her (and her death)? If her only function is to provide a catalyst or sympathy for the kid, how the reader feels about her is unimportant. JMO
     
  5. Hawwyboo
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    Hawwyboo Member

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    The main character can reveal things about the mother later on if necessary, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    If you particularly want your readers to empathise with the main character, however, then I think you should try to get the readers to have similar feelings towards the mother. But if the mother dies near the beginning, you should probably leave a few details of her for later in the story so that the first few chapters don't involve loads of info-dumping on the mother.
     
  6. MarmaladeQueen
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    MarmaladeQueen Senior Member

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    I agree with this - and with Trish who made much the same point. What I'd add is that you really need to know the mother's character. Who she is/was. What her history was. What she liked and didn't like. What had happened to your MC's father and what relationship she'd had with him. You may not include any of this in your story, but knowing it will make your MC's relationship with her much more plausible and real, and help build the reader's empathy for your MC.
     
  7. Sarah G
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    Sarah G Senior Member

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    I would agree with this also. I currently have a mc who has a brother and I have to try and make him really likeable because he's a big part off the story, but if the mum isn't important I don't think it's necessary that much.
     
  8. CadillacXLR8r
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    CadillacXLR8r Member

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    Ok, I understand what you're saying. Thank you guys!
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why?

    Write the story, and write it your way. How they like the final piece of writing is all that matters.

    Well, that and being true to your own creativity.
     
  10. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Does she even have to be alive at the story's beginning?

    I hate when Cogito posts before me. He pretty much smacks that nail right on the fucking head.
     
  11. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    This.
    This.
    I'd say yes. It gives the story a chance to have a slower, less action-y start. It gives the reader a chance to accustom themselves to what is to be considered the normal state of affairs.

    I'd personally say that if you're doing it by chapters, the first chapter would be a bad place to kill her for the above reason. But, then again, what Cogito said.
     
  12. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    This ^

    I'd like to add this-

    Is there a purpose to the reader getting to know the MC's mother? Or is it just to get the reader to feel something when the mother dies?

    You can show how the MC is affected by his mother's death and that will be more than enough to get the readers to see he's hurting.
     
  13. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you already have your opinion on this, then do that. You know the story better than we do. I mean, from where I am standing, it sounds very similar to One Piece (Japanese manga series). So right there and then, I can't much get passed how similar it sounds to tell you what you should do. If you know what it is you want to do, do it.
     
  14. Noah55
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    Noah55 New Member

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    The interest of the reader in any character depends on the plot. its not for you to ask what to with a certain character but to develop that character in a way that the readers interest is piqued.
     

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