1. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Member

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    Have you ever cried while killing off a character?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Thomas Larmore, Oct 16, 2020.

    I had a baby mutant, two-years-old, who, along with her cyborg father, had gone on a three planet rampage of death and destruction to find the secrets of the main characters.

    But then, she was killed on a starship by one of the main character's friends.

    Her father, a very religious man, instantly forgave the killer and together they prayed and then wrapped the baby in a shroud and jettisoned her into space.

    I cried while writing this scene.

    Have you ever killed a character and cried while doing it?
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yep. Recently, too.

    Two soldiers, joined at the hip since they were boots, in a situation with some hostile alien wildlife. One gets killed; the other loses his shit over his dead buddy. I rarely get emotional while writing - for any reason - but I felt it on that one.
     
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  3. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    Yes. I had a guy who was originally going to be a one-scene character but ended up being a full-on side character. It wasn't as if his death was tragic or drawn out or anything (middle of a battle -- can't stop and mourn); I just really ended up liking him and where I went with him. It doesn't help that I'm a bit of a crier when it comes to emotional stuff anyway.
     
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  4. Selbbin

    Selbbin The Moderating Cat Staff Contributor

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    No.
     
  5. hankas

    hankas New Member

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    This thread reminds me of the story about how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wanting to kill his famous character Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was Doyle's side project and it became very popular that it eclipsed his other more serious works. Doyle wrote to his mother how he grew to despise Holmes. One day he gathered enough strength to murder Holmes: Sherlock Holmes fell into a bottomless chasm in an epic fight with his mortal enemy Professor James Moriarty. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was relieved but the public cried. They demanded Doyle to revive Sherlock Holmes, which he eventually did. Sherlock Holmes was resurrected but he was never the same person as he used to be. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle continued writing Sherlock Holmes stories but it was apparent that Doyle had lost his interest. Today, the name Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is synonymous with Sherlock Holmes, the very character he despised and tried to disassociate himself from, the very character that killed Doyle's other works.
     
  6. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Member

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    I wrote a story where I killed one character three times but she kept coming back. Each time I killed her, it felt good, because she was a nasty bitch and I really didn't like her.
     
  7. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    I killed a character briefly (she was resuscitated,) but it was a very emotional scene, and yeah, I cried with the other MC.
     
  8. hirundine

    hirundine Contributor Contributor

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    No, but I have felt actual physical pain over it and been unable to relieve it, which I think is probably worse.
     
  9. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

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    Nope.
     
  10. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's probably because it's about the military - it's shaped you and there's an emotional connection there like nothing else has.

    As for myself, yes I have. I debated for a week whether to actually kill this character and hadn't planned on doing it and couldn't believe I was going to do it. I was trying to get out of it in so many ways, but no, he died. Then in an old draft, I didn't "kill" this character so much as I just deleted him and took him out altogether 'cause he didn't serve any purpose - I cried and wrote him his own separate death scene that isn't part of the novel lol.
     
  11. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Aha! I'm not the only one, then.
     
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  12. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    I did cry over a character. He was someone I wrote since he was born, then an adult who fell in love and had a family, then he had a crippling disease (stroke) and died after a long battle to regain control of his body. It was too much like real life, I guess.
     
  13. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Killed, no. A few mortally wounded yes.
    Had a character cry, when forced to watch
    three allied soldiers tortured to death.
     
  14. Partridge

    Partridge Active Member

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    Well that's a cheerful image to have in my head while drinking my morning coffee :p
     
  15. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Uncle! Supporter Contributor

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    I killed my MC's character so that her mom could have a new boyfriend who molested her. I cried when I realized how and where Daddy died.

    The story did have a happy(ish) ending though.
     
  16. Birch Anderson

    Birch Anderson Member

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    I haven't yet wept over killing off a character (which I guess means I still have a lot to learn about better writing), but I remember a scrapped series I tried to do a few years ago; I needed the main character to be in a position that required saving from the third plot-important character, and I knew what the scene called for - it just took me several weeks to actually write it because I didn't want to put the character through that kind of thing. I suppose I put too much of myself in that character, but the beating and rape scene (and subsequent revenge beating that followed) took less time than I thought it would to actually compose when I started it.

    It was just too long a plot that I felt I would have been spending too much time on it, and not on other things. But no, I haven't cried over killing off a character yet.
     
  17. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Member

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    I wrote a seven book sci-fi series and at the end of the last book the MC dies and meets and hugs his friends and family who have died before him. I cried while writing that.
     
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  18. DriedPen

    DriedPen Member

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    I have...

    I wrote a novel 18 years ago, and while it is a very long story on why I never touched it for that long, when I got to the opening scene where the main character loses his twin, (3) year old daughters, I cried.

    When I first wrote the book years ago, I did not even have children, but now I have had (6), one of which died. It brought back a lot of raw emotion, but its good too, because I am not the only parent who has lost a child.
     
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  19. Lazaares

    Lazaares Senior Member

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    I had real trouble finishing up the first draft of my project because the ending features a whole slew of characters meeting their end. I wouldn't count it as cheap killing-off; these fit the general progression of the novel and they each have had their character arcs and developments.

    While I had it all planned out, reaching the actual death scenes was pretty daunting. A lot of the characters I feature I had also roleplayed for varying times on some platforms thus there's often an even more "intricate" connection.

    There's only a few things that can jerk my tears, though they can be quite random (there is one Iron Maiden song that still has me go full emotional by the end). Another was the death of a character in this story-end "massacre". A dreamer and generally a good person who makes a bad decision that haunts him to the very end and leads to his untimely death. It just felt ... both appropriate for him to die but also somewhat sorrowful.
     
  20. DriedPen

    DriedPen Member

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    "Brickyard Road" will bring me to tears.

    That was about his brother dying in a plane crash, but for me it reminds me of my sister perishing in a car accident.
     
  21. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Active Member

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    No. Usually I go into "writer state" and think about how traumatized a reader would feel about the character dying.

    Mmm....delicious trauma....

    :)
     
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  22. CrimsonAngel

    CrimsonAngel Senior Member

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    I've never cried about a character being killed, that's usually for the audience to deal with.
     
  23. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Member

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    I think if you cry over the death of your characters that's a good sign that you might make your readers cry too.
     
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  24. CrimsonAngel

    CrimsonAngel Senior Member

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    True but I never do, makes me look stupid. I can always resurrect them.
     
  25. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Member

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    I killed one character three times. The first two times, she died as a villain. The third time, she died as a hero.
     
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  26. Maddy Knight

    Maddy Knight Member

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    Absolutely. If we are not feeling the emotions we want our readers to feel, then something has gone wrong. I mean, not everyone writes with the sole intent to shake up the emotions. Sometimes it's just a happy adventure with a few surmountable conflicts followed by a happy ending. We all need that kind of stroy as well. But when it's time to rip the heart strings, the writer better be balling their eys out on the floor. Slamming their had against the wall and getting fall-down drunk. Then maybe you have something worth publishing. Something that will one day become a classic.

    As the writer you need to become the perp and the victim. The killer, the corpse, and the friends and family and police and the undertaker, and be each one convincingly. You need to be the doctor that delivers the bad news. You need to be the dog that awaits their dead owner's return. The old folks that talk about the death over coffee in the local diner. In short, you need to go into some kind of multiple personality disorder.

    Jus' saying.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2020
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