1. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    writing grief

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Ettina, Sep 5, 2012.

    In one story, one of my characters is carrying out an elaborate scheme to set herself up as the ruler of a group of people. Thing is, she just recently lost someone who was like a parent to her, and she's grieving during this whole time. She won't let her grief interfere with achieving her mission, but she will noticeably grieve during the story. Any advice?
     
  2. luna claire
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    luna claire Senior Member

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    You could try putting yourself in her place. How would feel in that situation? And then try to write what you feel. She may feel slightly deadened, numb perhaps and then there are the stages of grief. Anger may serve her well, it could be something that she can channel and use toward her goal. Just a suggestion, I don't know the details of your story, so I apologize if my suggestion won't work for you story. Hope this helped a little, grief is hard to write in my opinion and good luck. :)
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Sometimes, the way in which one feels grief - and the extent of it - is shaped by the circumstances of the death of the individual for whom they are grieving. An elderly person dying of natural causes will engender a different kind of grief than a young child ruthlessly murdered or killed by cancer. Someone who dies suddenly, unexpectedly, will usually result in a person feeling shock before grief can set in.

    A really good description of someone suffering from this kind of grief is contained in R.F. Delderfield's "To Serve Them All My Days".

    Also keep in mind that the way in which people work through grief or express varies greatly from person to person. I remember when my grandfather died when I was 15, and after the funeral, my cousins and I went outside to throw a football around. My father got very upset with me, claiming I wasn't being respectful enough. Some people wallow, others get on with life.
     
  4. Ferdinand&Alfonso
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    Ferdinand&Alfonso Member

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    Okay, two big suggestions come to mind. Don't overdo it. Don't go too far repeating yourself over the same few sentences. I mean, grief can be a very strong aspect of a story but unless you can come up with some variety of thoughts at least, don't talk about it too much because if you keep giving different versions of the same couple of feelings, it's going to get really annoying for the reader fairly quickly.

    The other thing would be that it depends on her personality. Does sorrow eat her up? Or is she the byronic hero type that will hide her grief and pretend its not there? Play the situation to your characters potential. If she's the kind to bottle up feelings, make it a little dramatic. Or perhaps she has a prying friend who won't stop nagging her, and the information gets out that way? I'd give better advice but I can't know how your characters would react since I don't know all of them and their individual personalities. Just remember to take advantage of each person's strong and weak points, don't focus on any one person, even when they're the main protagonist.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you have not experienced profound grief yourself, you probably will have a difficult time writing it well. You can read other writers' portrayal of grief, and learn a lot from them, but you won't really feel it. What you don't feel is likely to show up in your writing.

    It's not impossible, but it is very difficult to write that kind of deep emotion without having experienced it.

    Like love, it is different every time.
     
  6. maidahl
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    maidahl Banned

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    Beautiful^
     
  7. tiffanylyn
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    tiffanylyn Member

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    Just a suggestion to throw out there: Show the grief with a quick flashback to a time the character had with that person of importance, which is relevant to the story.
    Don't wallow in it, though.
    Grief is a fantastic motivation to do really stupid or brilliant stuff.
     

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