1. Esther Davila

    Esther Davila New Member

    Feb 12, 2018
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    About bringing characters "back from the dead"

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Esther Davila, Feb 12, 2018.

    Well, I have been writing this story for a while and it's main plot revolves around a concept of the "taken heroes", heroic figures that disappear mysteriously and are taken to a place where they will be kept alive, in a place I've been calling the paradise of sand and water,until they are needed to complete a big prophecy. The heroes once taken can choose to come back to their worlds and live their lives or stay and probably wait and train for hundreds of years.Once they come back, some of them will still have family and friends alive (even if older right now) and some will have no one they remember still alive since they spent most of their lives on the paradise.

    My objective was to tell the tales of the last 4 taken heroes, since there are 4 places from where they will come out once they are back (Each one of those heroes is from one of those 4 places). These heroes take the roles of diplomats since they are more likely to still know anyone that's still alive. Some of the taken heroes are presumed to be dead since most people don't believe the legends anymore...The 4 last ones are an example since all of them are thought to be dead.

    The start of the last story is the return heroes, but I was thinking people might find it cheap since all of them "died" in heroic manners, to save people, and the fact that they "died" in heroic manner is an important plot point, since that is the only reason they are saved. Do you all think it would be a bad move? I was very confident when I first wrote the outline, since I had lots of forshadowing, all of their supposed "deaths" had inconsistencies and I think it would be possible for you to realize they aren't actually dead if you pay enough attention, but I started having some doubts since I know this trope is way over done... What do you guys think?

    (Excuse my english, I am foreign, so sometimes I commit very weird and stupid mistakes)
  2. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    I think it sounds cool. Bringing characters back from the dead can be cheap, but it seems like your story is built in part around the concept itself, so you've got plenty of room to play with it.
    GlitterRain7 and Simpson17866 like this.
  3. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Even the most heroic and noble of deaths is not going to be seen that way by everyone, on all sides, because no action is ever without some cost. I think there's a great deal of room for conflict as regards how each of these respective heroes sees the world they come back to, and how they are seen by the world they come back to.
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  4. Fiender_

    Fiender_ Active Member

    Jul 25, 2017
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    It sounds like your story revolves around the concept that these people aren't actually dead, and that does make it better. Though, based on your description, the reader would only find out about it in the last book. If the heroes in question who are being brought back were major characters in your stories, whose deaths have a major impact on the characters around them (and, hopefully, the reader), I could see myself reading about their sudden resurrections and thinking "welp, there goes the value of the earlier sacrifice/tragedy". It is one of my personal peeves, for a story to appear to kill off a major character only to bring them back. Several books by one of my favorite authors have recently done this and it's quite annoying.

    I would say, be very cautious how many major characters in your story are resurrected this way. If all four of your major characters die, only to come back, and we were left thinking they were all dead until that point in the last book/next to last book... that could be really anti-climactic and lessen the impacts of their deaths. I'd recommend maybe trimming down the number of recent heroes to a single major person (like a royal who is well connected and would serve well as a diplomat), and then have some other significant deaths/tragedies to not make it feel super cheap that this one tragedy is undone. Not that all stories need death and tragedy to be good, but they all need drama, and death and tragedy are quite dramatic.
    jannert likes this.
  5. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

    Mar 7, 2013
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    I would say if your heroes go missing and are presumed dead, that's a lot different from your readers and other characters watching them die and then, miraculously, seeing them restored to life later on.

    The disappearing thing will work just fine, I imagine. If characters disappear, presumed dead, the readers will always be open to the idea that maybe they're not really dead. In fact, the readers will probably be expecting them to return, even if the other characters in the story assume death, do mourning, etc.

    However, if we watch them die, have a funeral for them, etc ...and they suddenly reappear? That had better be well engineered, or readers can become really annoyed. Not only that, if characters can be miraculously resurrected from the dead, that kills jeopardy. Nobody is going to worry about an important character getting killed off, because, hey ho, they probably aren't really dead, are they?

    VERY few stories can pull this resurrection thing off, in my opinion.
  6. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

    Mar 21, 2012
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    You might kill people on the page, craft their demise - then start another chapter with them getting out of bed. If it works it works, or cheat a little, call it the 'Book of Johns,' - John rose that morning...

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