1. FlyingUnicorn

    FlyingUnicorn New Member

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    Similar Deaths in the Same Chapter

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by FlyingUnicorn, Nov 6, 2017.

    Hi,
    I am trying to clarify my thinking on this one. I am writing a historical novel and have just realised that I have two similar deaths in one chapter - not exactly the same illnesses but similar death bed scenes involving contagious diseases albeit in different locations. I am concerned it is going to be repetitive but it is in a way part of the essence as it written to illustrate one mother's suffering following the loss of her children. The deaths need to happen fairly quickly to enable the story to move on, so, unfortunately they cant be easily staggered throughout the book.
    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
     
  2. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I think the important aspect of this is that you acknowledge the similarities (which I'm sure you will as we're talking contagion here).

    That said, if you're planning on deathbed scene after deathbed scene, the whole way through, you do risk it becoming monotonous.
     
  3. K McIntyre

    K McIntyre Active Member

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    Sounds like you have thought this out. It shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't keep having people die in the same way over and over. Twice sounds like it would add a necessary emphasis.
     
  4. FlyingUnicorn

    FlyingUnicorn New Member

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    Thank you for your replies, that's really helpful.
     
  5. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    You can focus on the similar feelings the mother is having: "This was just like with Joe", etc.
    Maybe the mother will respond more mechanically to the similar death of the second child since it will be dejà vu. Especially if the deaths are near in time. In that case, use the similarity to your advantage. It can be a good thing to explore.
     
  6. Storm713

    Storm713 Member

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    I agree. It's okay if you have two similar deaths, as long as you describe the emotions differently. For example, with the first death, the mother might be enraged and grieving, the kind of "How dare illness take him away! Why, life, why???" (Completely exaggerated but you get my point.)
    During the second, the mother may be more distant, almost as if she's in denial or just walking through the pain as though it's a dream. More mechanical, slow, unbelieving movements.
    I hope this helps!
     
  7. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    Quoting myself to add: the repetition is not a problem; it's all about how the character reacts to the similar deaths.
    There, that's what I really wanted to say. :)
     

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