July 10th, 2012, 08:09 PM
Originally Posted by tmso
I think that just thinking that Zain is dead will push him in the direction I want to go and then later, if Zain were to suddenly not be dead anymore it would really mess with his head, and make for some even greater conflict.
July 10th, 2012, 10:18 PM
In my parody/satire series most of the main and supporting characters die in the last volume within a short period of time. I am not sure if this is a good thing or if it is some sort of instant commercial death. But what I was aiming for was that the good humored aspect in the first two volumes takes a more tragic and darker turn that culminates when I destroy my made up fantasy world into a not so funny apocalyptic end.
Originally Posted by TheIELighten
July 10th, 2012, 11:00 PM
Originally Posted by Starchaser3000
As long as doing so makes you happy
I would likely be extremely traumatized unless I hated your characters and had been rooting for them all to die since the beginning, or if I went in knowing to expect this from the beginning. But that's without reading, of course.
You have to do what feels right!
July 10th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Since I only have one volume published so far there is always room for change or improvement. But I still want that gradual change from the theme of my series being light hearted/non serious right now to a more darker/serious feel by the end of the series. I have been told that potential readers might not like that type of literary transition. Still, I just can't picture myself having that much commercial success to begin with where I would be concerned with "what the fans might think."
Originally Posted by TheIELighten
July 10th, 2012, 11:58 PM
That's the Spirit! *giggles*
July 11th, 2012, 11:35 PM
As others have said, it always comes down to the story's needs, but death is a crucial way of illustrating the stakes, and a reader becomes much more invested in a story if success is at risk and the stakes are high.
Too many fantasy novels, in my opinion, suffer from having ridiculously high stakes (usually saving the world) with obscenely low real risk to the main characters.
Take the Grandfather of fantasy; LOTR. In my opinion, with a fellowship of ten people setting out to deliver the One Ring to Mount Doom in order to stop an absolute evil from conquering the world, most of the party should have died. For all but one of them to survive (and the one who died was kinda bad anyway) defies belief.
The only way Tolkien gets away with it is through the deep pathos he introduces in the denouement; you almost feel like Frodo would have been better off dying.
Although to be fair to Tolkien, there's another lesson in that; you don't need death to illustrate what's at stake, or to pay a price, and indeed sometimes death isn't the worst outcome for a character.
July 12th, 2012, 09:18 AM
This is so true. I touch upon making fun of this in my work. But in mine, the world is not coming to an end until my fellowship characters bring it about when they attempt to overthrow the stabilized status quo government of an immortal evil emperor. The protagonists believe the end of the eternal regime will bring about a new order of social equality and justice, but in the end their world is tragically destroyed.
Originally Posted by Gumboot
As for the culture of my fantasy world, the way I do it is more of a reflection of American society in regards to political, social, and racial issues. I am just betting on the intelligence of the reader to read between the lines of the absurd humor and cartoonish violence to understand the dark subtlety of this.
July 12th, 2012, 10:14 AM
Too bad Harry Turtledove is not a member of this forum. His books have body counts to rival small wars. I am not sure he likes ANY of his characters. It would be interesting to hear his take on this subject.
July 12th, 2012, 11:13 AM
I think that novels involving war can be as varied as the authors who write them (and I am one of them). Character deaths are significant events that must serve the plot and character dynamic. I would say it depends upon what you need this death/s or lack thereof to achieve. That said, if you are trying to convince your reader that your story takes place in a war or a violent place afflicted with regular battles then perhaps it might stretch willful suspension of disbelief to have all of your main characters negotiate this setting unscathed.
Personally, I tend on the bloodthirsty side. : ) I like to make readers care about characters and then immerse them in danger. Killing characters in such circumstances can be a very effective tool and are a convincing way to convince readers of the setting's peril and the threat to other characters.
July 17th, 2012, 02:33 AM
Originally Posted by Rob Sanders
I think if a work is well written any significant character's death will always have meaning - that doesn't mean it should be a big, dramatic, meaningful death scene though - in fact I prefer writers that avoid that.
One of the most memorable deaths I ever read was the most mundane and inglorious - a guy who had once been a supreme military commander fell off his horse while climbing a shallow hill on which their home was built. To add insult to injury, the death of this pivotal character (who had been the POV character in the previous two books in the series) happened "off camera" (or off page, I suppose) because the POV character of the book in which it happened was away at the time and only returned after the fact.
Nonetheless the death was well crafted and meaningful, not because of the death itself, but because of what it meant for the remaining characters and for the ongoing story.