1. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Procrastinating, because I'm going to hurt him

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JosephMarch, Apr 26, 2014.

    I have come to a part in my story where one of my main characters gets hurt. I realized today I haven't written in days and I think it's because I am worried about writing this. I really like him but it has to happen.

    I am considering skipping it and returning later. So far, I have written in order. Has anyone else done this skipping around while writing? I have the entire story worked out in my head already.
     
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  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write in order, from beginning to the end. Skipping around doesn't work for me, especially as the characters change sometimes change in attitude and experience in the story, and it's reflected in their actions and dialogue. Skipping around just adds another layer that I have to pay attention to. Yes, it could be caught and fixed in editing...

    As far as the reason for skipping, consider that the characters are simply tools used to tell a story to the reader. Complex, interesting and creative tools, but nothing more than a figment of the imagination.

    Good luck as you move forward, whatever method you use to make progress and finish the project.
     
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  3. Magicangeleyes
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    Magicangeleyes New Member

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    You're close to your characters, that good in the respect that you probably know them very well. However, you can't get precious about them. If it it will advance the story, or is needed in the progression of another character you need to be ruthless.
    As for the order, I'm a linear writer. But, I do know those who skip between scenes very succesfully, so if this will help to move past this barrier then do it.
    In have a major character I plan to kill off at the end of of my story. I feel it's necessary for the advancement of my lead character, but I was still unsure at how that would be received by readers. I've moved on, you will too.
     
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  4. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Well you care about your characters and that's well and good. But if your character has a purpose to grow then you'll hurt them, their prevalence or failure after said incident will make you care more for them as you respect their struggle.
     
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  5. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    If he has to be hurt, then do it. Do the order of the story or you'll keep going and it won't fit, because subconsciously you may try to detour a little so he won't get hurt.

    People hurt people every second. It's good you're empathetic towards him - it will make for a more realistic scene.
    "Murder your darlings" -- Arthur Quiller-Couch
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Sometimes, even though we love our characters, we have to let them get the crap kicked out of them. It's the only way they'll grow and gain experience.
     
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  7. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I just gave my MC mild brain damage. He is a hard working brilliant guy. I can't give him any superpowers since it isn't that kind of book. He suffered horribly.

    HOWEVER.... there is going to be a dead pet, Yearling-style, soon. I have been putting that off for four books :-( I am going to crush my reader's little hearts with that scene. Wilson, Dobby and Dumbledore...
     
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  8. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    You could try writing it down in a bare bones fashion so it's easier to get through and then go back and flesh it out later. I remember I got really upset when I realized the only logical conclusion to my current WIP involved most of the characters dying. I'm very attached to these characters but in the end they deserve a proper ending and I'd rather write out there deaths lovingly than know that they would have died soon after the book ended anyway.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My apologies @JosephMarch but I can't relate to this. It's the story that matters. If the character getting hurt or even killed is part of the story, then it's part of the story. My characters are real to me when I'm writing the story and even when I'm thinking about the next part I'm going to write. But if it bothered me to write a scene where a character was hurt, then I'd have to ask myself, what the heck am I writing, a novel or an imaginary companion?

    That's not to say some scenes are not hard to write. I'll have to go back over the details of the sex slavery chapter I skipped over because it's hard to write. It's really an important part of the story, but I'm afraid it's going to come off as tacky or clumsy or unrealistic. But worrying the character is getting hurt? No.
     
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  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I had to badly injure my main character AND kill off somebody he loves, towards the end of my novel. I dove right in ...and then had to keep leaving my chair and walking away for a few minutes at a time during the writing process. Cups of coffee, snack, reading the weather report, la la la la la. I stuck with it, and got the section written in one day—but it sure wasn't easy.

    I'd say just dig in, don't procrastinate, and get it done. But—do give yourself permission to feel bad while doing it! That feeling will come through in the writing, and if your readers care about your character the way you do, they'll be more emotionally involved in this scene. Not a bad payoff for a few hours of feeling wretched.
     
  11. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    I am in a bit of a dilemma like yours.

    I am writing a novel where my characters get tortured for a couples months. Their torments include being tricked into killing innocent people, sex with the wrong gender, and self cannibalism. My problem is I am afraid to give any of them any permanent damage. I made a character who heals them of physical wounds after they are tortured.

    Anyway. The first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have a problem. My problems is, I admit, killing or permanently crippling me characters.
     
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  12. Slade Lucas
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    Slade Lucas Member

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    A few weeks ago I wrote a part of my story where my villain escaped his prison by making conversation with a guard and then killing him in a moment of weakness, while he was talking about his girlfriend. Even though the guard was a minor character I still felt bad about killing him off because I had created a backstory for him and he was a really nice guy. It was hard and it almost had me in tears. But in those situations you've just got to grit your teeth and get through it, because otherwise no one will get to hear your story and you have to do it eventually so just get it out of the way.

    I always say that feeling for your characters to the point where causing them pain physically upsets you is the first step to becoming a great writer.
     
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  13. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    In my very first novel attempt, I knew the mc was going to die. I delayed writing it only to assure that I was alone in the house when I did. And when I wrote it, I cried, like I knew I would.

    I think @GingerCoffee makes a good point, even though she might have meant it to be facetious - it's fine to care for your characters, but thinking of them as real to the point where you can't move forward with your story is, I think, something that novice writers need to get past if they're going to be any good. I'm reminded of a line from Annette Benning's wonderful film, "Being Julia" - "If I actually experienced every emotion I portray as an actress, I'd be a complete mess!"
     
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  14. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Thanks all for the feedback. I think my problem was this scene was a major turning point in the story, and I wanted to proceed correctly. But it's done; I wrote it. I need to go back later and fill in a bit, but I can move on now!

    Oh, and maybe I DO see him as a companion of sorts. The other main character is his love interest, and she's modeled after a young me. I guess that explains my attachment?
     
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