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  1. nickbedford
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    nickbedford Member

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    Writing the death of your temporary main character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by nickbedford, Aug 5, 2010.

    I'm working on the opening chapter of my sci-fi novel and having rewritten most of it to be much more detailed and personal, I'm coming to the part where the main character (not the novel's protagonist) ends up being killed in the destruction of the planet he's on.

    Goes like this:
    • Mining station hits artefact.
    • Artefact sends pulse beacon into space.
    • Artefact then destroys planet (to destroy all evidence essentially).

    With subjective third person, how would one then write his death?

    The way I expect to write the events of his death are as follows:

    • Pulse beacon happens.
    • He heads back into the station and toward the command room.
    • On his way, artefact implodes the command room (some alien tech stuff).
    • He's trapped between the drill site (artefact) and the wrecked command room.
    • Walkway grows dark, cracks form, planet is essentially imploded along with it into a micro black hole (dramatic enough?)

    While detailing the actions and his trials through most of that won't be too difficult, I'm wondering how I would "finish him off"?

    Would keeping it vague (and because of his point-of-view, I could reveal the planet's destruction through some plot device later on in the story?), something along the lines of:

     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You could, although third person allows you to pull out to a distance from the character very easily, so I don't understand why you think there's a problem. If you were writing in first person, then yeah, pulling out would be more difficult, but the reason third person is usually the best choice for narrative fiction is precisely this kind of situation, where you need the flexibility to go from intimately close to a character to a more distant perspective. Third person limited simply means the narrative is anchored to a particular character, and in some cases, the narrative is filtered through their perception. This is not the same as writing from his point of view, which is only truly achievable in first person.
     
  3. nickbedford
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    nickbedford Member

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    Thanks. I guess I would like to maintain the subjective view of the narrative rather than, right at the end, detach from that. For the previous six or seven pages it's been all about how he's reacted to the find.

    The other thing I suppose is that it could be a suspenseful hook to be revealed later on in the novel (say some rescued footage of it happening from the orbital station above the planet).
     
  4. Maxx
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    Maxx New Member

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    Banks' Excession (perhaps the greatest Sci Fi novel of all time) starts with the very long and elaborate death of a drone intelligence. You could look at that and see if it is interesting and sufficiently mysterious.
     

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