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Frustration-induced plot changes


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Y'all ever get worked up about something in real life and decide, "you know what? Maybe the bad guy kills off a few innocent people after all"?

 

It's probably a good thing I forgot my laptop charger at my parents' house and have to wait until Saturday to get it back. Might just save some characters' lives. Toying with the idea though, I may find it helpful.

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I think there are times when killing off a character can be just the shock you need to bring forth a lesson later on or allow you to curve the story in a different direction. It may very well be necessary to effect another character's arc, to essentially throw their life into chaos and then show the transition or path back to order.

Edited by Amosathar
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I totally agree! I just don't know if I can do it! But the more I think about it, the more it helps enforce the MC's fear of the villain. I'll most likely write out a death, then decide later if it'll stick.

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4 hours ago, Amosathar said:

Could you go back and introduce a minor character just enough to get the readers invested, for the sole purpose of killing them off?

 

Hmmm, that seems a bit like cheating. If you decide murder and mayhem are necessary, I’d go ahead and kill someone who already has an additional purpose in the story (after he’s fulfilled it, of course.)

 

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6 hours ago, JosiAtara said:

I totally agree! I just don't know if I can do it! But the more I think about it, the more it helps enforce the MC's fear of the villain. I'll most likely write out a death, then decide later if it'll stick.

 

I was so reluctant to kill a particular character in one of my stories that I planned (and partly wrote) an entire alternative ending where he didn’t die, even though I knew deep down it had to happen. In that particular case, it was not a minor character, but either way, if the story calls for it, I think you’ll know.

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Killing of a m/c is fun. No seriously, what I mean is that your job as writer is the entertain and surprise your reader. So, killing of a character that they do not expect can be a really go way to keep them reading. 

However, it is essential that there is a very good reason for killing said character off.  It has to be integral to the plot. If you can think of other ways to get your point across or achieve the goal of the story then don't kill them off.

 

It is the same with your m/c facing disaster or tragedy. The reader has to understand the 'why' for it happening.  JK Rowling was good at this when she killed of Harry's godfather Sirus Black. Beyond his taking Harry under his wing and informing of some of the backstory in Order of the Phoenix, he really doesn't have a role. By killing him off, Rowling adds another person to the long list of people who protect Harry (which in the end motivates him to face Voldemort)  and he gives Harry a brief sense of family life in OOP.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Amosathar said:

Could you go back and introduce a minor character just enough to get the readers invested, for the sole purpose of killing them off?

 

1 hour ago, Zee said:

 

Hmmm, that seems a bit like cheating. If you decide murder and mayhem are necessary, I’d go ahead and kill someone who already has an additional purpose in the story (after he’s fulfilled it, of course.)

 

Oh, I don't know, that was pretty much Patroclus's job description in The Iliad.

His license plate even read "P10TDEVICE".

 

Anyway, I think it really depends on how you pull it off. I can usually guess if a minor character is going to die off and it's usually because they're poorly developed.

 

A better thought, but much more daring, is to kill off a main character. That's what really seals the deal. That's what helps makes the villian more real to the audience. If no one is safe, then it leaves readers wondering if the protag. will make it.

 

 

 

Edited by RockyMtn Gal
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1 hour ago, RockyMtn Gal said:

Oh, I don't know, that was pretty much Patroclus's job description in The Iliad.

His license plate even read "P10TDEVICE".

 

LOL!

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Y'all are a bunch of enablers! Although I do have enough of a cast that I could find someone to kill, and it does make sense for him to kill (again).

 

1 hour ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

But please spare puppies from the toed boots of the villain. XD

I do not currently have any known puppies... it's more likely to be the ferret that gets kicked.

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3 hours ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

The ferret? There's ferrets involved?

Yes, the ferret is my way of tormenting a character that is very afraid of animals. There's also the occasional cougar, but not as a beloved pet. I will have other animals introduced, just don't know what yet.

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On 1/6/2021 at 1:33 PM, JosiAtara said:

Although I do have enough of a cast that I could find someone to kill, and it does make sense for him to kill (again).

Just a thought - if you're going to kill someone off, make sure the important aspects of their character can be transferred to other characters (or one character) later on through character growth. You don't want to leave your cast up a creek without a paddle because the only one who was X or could do X is dead, and an audience can kind of see it as a cop out if you just introduce someone else later who can do it. They'll see the new character as Dead Character's Name 2.0. 

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2 hours ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

@JosiAtara You know, that reminds me of a sketch Studio C did involving an imaginary ferret...

 

"SWIRL THE BRANDY! DON'T STOP SWIRLING THE BRANDY!!!"

 

(You'll understand it if you've seen it lol!)

 

Studio C's "Crayon Song Gets Ruined" is one of my favorite videos, I'll have to go search out this one you're speaking of!

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