1. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Is it Okay?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by louis1, Jan 3, 2012.

    Is it okay to make your readers believe your main character is dead?
    This goes on for 3 chapters form chapter 12 to 15.

    If it's okay, is there a good and wrong way to do it?

    What to you think?
     
  2. Party Poison
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    Party Poison Member

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    I guess it's alright.
     
  3. Anarchist_Apple84
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    Anarchist_Apple84 Senior Member

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    I don't see why it wouldn't be okay, depending on the context.

    You haven't given us much information to go on. What happens to the MC which would leave the reader to believe they're dead?
    Who will narrate during their absense?
    How do you intend to bring them back?

    I really don't see anything wrong with it, depends how's its handled..
     
  4. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Well a secondary character finds for example 'bloody ripped clothes and bones' in the forest, she know they belong to the main character (the clothes). Then since the story is written with an omniscient narrator the story goes on for 3 chapters. Then the supposed to be dead main character is found alive and he explains how he survived and what happened.

    I feel like it's an important part of the story but at the same time i'm scared that the reader might loose interest since the main character is dead (in their mind).
     
  5. Anarchist_Apple84
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    Anarchist_Apple84 Senior Member

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    I think you should be fine. The reader might have their doubts about whether you have actually killed the main character or not, or they might think the story will now take a different path and someone else will take their place.

    I'm sure it has been done successfully in the past, though I'm struggling to name any examples of the top of my head!
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    anything's ok if you can write well enough to get away with it... and nothing is, if you can't...
     
  7. spamalope01
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    spamalope01 Member

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    I think it's perfectly fine to do this. If handled correctly, it's something that could keep the reader feverishly turning pages to find out if the main character really IS dead, and if so...how will the book finish out....how will they save the princess now?

    You have to be careful to first build up that main character as a REALLY likable person, so that the reader is shocked and upset at their "demise" and eager to find out if it's real. Second, you have to be REALLY careful to make sure that the reason the MC lived is not super far fetched. "I was saved at the last minute by a large eagle who plucked me out of harm's way..." This could always be tricky because you run the risk of some reader thinking, 'Oh that's just BS.' So spend some extra effort and make sure that you're not pulling an escape out of your butt.
     
  8. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    thanks for the advice, and yeah I'm making sure all of this makes sense,
    nothing to far fetched, actually i made sure to foreshadow that he'll survive
    but i like to keep the reader in doubt. as for if the character is likable enough.. well i sure hope so:p
     
  9. mazg
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    mazg New Member

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    I don't have any experience reading anything like that mid-book, but did experience it in a series of books (the cliffhanger). The next book started and we were left wondering how he had escaped (his injuries were mentioned but not the actually escape from inevitable death!). It took several chapters before he recounted how he got out of the *explosion* alive. It was a riveting experience as the reader and luckily the next book was already published :)

    Make sure that when your character comes back he takes time to explain what really happened and doesn't just show up with no explanations (to the reader or the other characters).
     
  10. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Basically what spamalope said. Remember that the true power of a story is in its execution, so you have to pull it off well. I wouldn't recommend it if you're inexperienced, to be honest.
     
  11. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    well i'm inexperienced, but I think I can pull it of. In the worst case scenario, if it doesn't work i'll just change it.

    But for now, I like a challenge.
     

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