Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

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azureXtwilight
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Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#1 Post by azureXtwilight » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:18 pm

I wonder how that will work in a VN, and by erasing, I mean killing.
I've tried using that method by using Volg from ROA, I wonder whether that did work... Do you think it's better to kill a character that you care about or someone you don't know? How to execute it properly? Give me your opinions, and maybe one of you can share your experience in "killing" your character in a story, :D
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#2 Post by RemnantDream » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:39 pm

I love killing off characters. As a heads up, if you ever play or read anything by me expect either:
- at least one of the main/important characters dies
- the main character's love interest dies
- the main character dies
- random people die

When it comes to fiction, I love death. To me, something isn't realistic and can't be great unless at least one person dies. I don't know why but I enjoy death. I have written(am still writing) one story where the main character actually dies at the end. When my friend read the ending she was just "NOOO!"

I also like killing off love interests. Last year in Geometry, I wrote a 7 page short story about a girl who is in love with a boy who is dying of cancer. My friend found it and showed it to half of the girls in our class and the majority ended up crying xD

I like to kill people off by betrayal, disease, accident, or serial killer style. I like the deaths I write to come as a shock and just leave people speechless.

Betrayal is just <3. That is my favorite way to kill people off. I loveeed Neffie's ending in Memoirs of an Angel
where they both kill each other. Just the best ending ever.
I seriously love serial killers. I did a report on them one time and loved doing it. It's not that I approve of what they do, they just interest me. It's..yeah..

Writing all this made me realize how morbid I can be xD

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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#3 Post by HigurashiKira » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:51 pm

Killing characters is like a pass-time for me. (Just look at my 2 WIP)
There is no safety net with me, EVERYONE CAN DIE. Be it the MC, the LI's, anyone. They all have a red target over their heads.

There are many ways to kill someone off, but I prefere good ol' fashioned murder. It's the most perfect kill since there's no manipulation on your part except the killer's emotion so people can't call BS on your part.
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#4 Post by LVUER » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:05 pm

Depending on the story, killing a character, especially if he/she is one of major character from the protagonist party (more over if he/she is the main love interest for the protagonist) is a big no no. Perhaps it could be a good material for tear-bending... but for me, it's just another lazy way for the author to simplify things.

Example:
- Love triangle, kill one, problem solved
- Too many love interest, kill several, problem solved
- Allies too powerful, kill him/her using any mean necessary (even ridiculous one), problem solved
- Confused with the ending, kill the protagonist, problem solved
- The problem is too difficult to solve, kill EVERYONE (O_o) problem solved (-___-)

Exception: But people dies, yeah, no doubt about it. I also hates those stories where everyone stay alive. I mean EVERYONE. Even for the most horrible enemies... the worst is that those enemies become friends. Or at the most dire situation, everyone miraculously survived for reason unknown. Or if your story is war story or survival/horror story, since if no one dies, it will lessen the impact needed for that kind of story.
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#5 Post by Lumen_Astrum » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:17 pm

Well,
all my obtainables have a 50% chance to die.
Death in a story is pretty good, if it has a meaning. Say, take the novel Hunger Games for example. There are a LOT of character deaths there.
Say, like Prim in Mockingjay. She died while serving as a medic in the front lines of war.
But then, on deaths, there should be a twist. Like in that same character death,
Gale, the protagonist's bestfriend set up that trap that should kill the enemy too, but because the medics were drawn to compassion and approaches the injured on the other side. But the same bomb that injured them kills of the medics. So in other words, Gale killed off Prim.
And that results to a deeper conflict. But then if you're way too lazy to make the deaths affect the story at all, set it at the near end of storyline.

When it's set in war though, it's real weird if nobody dies. In darker storylines, yeah, at least 5 should die xD

I'm not that good in character death, so I'm not so sure xD

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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#6 Post by Sapphi » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:36 pm

I think you should only kill a character in a story if it's really necessary... If you overdo it, it loses its meaning (especially if you do it in a cheesy overwrought way that makes everyone go "Will you just DIE already and get on with the story?!). What I think is powerful about showing a character death along the story is that it makes the audience realize how much they care about that character. (This tends to generate a lot of fanart and doujinshi centered around said character because people miss seeing them and want to keep their memory alive).

One of the stories I've written (which I'll one day probably turn into a kinetic novel), ends with the main character's death. It just about broke my heart to write it, but it was kind of a crucial part of the story I wanted to write, so it felt "okay" to me. I don't really like to kill characters since it makes me sad, but at the same time, I tend to do it a lot. I think it's partly because the way a character acts when they're dying can show a lot about what kind of person they are and give you a better understanding for them (so you can miss them all the more when they're gone! I'm such a sadist...)
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#7 Post by SilverxBlue » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:31 am

I agree with Sapphi, "only kill a character if it's really necessary".
But, if it is a really dark story with some psycho murderer, then you should probably kill a lot of guys... Kinda like killing some minor guy first then going to the major characters later.
And if you really want to add some impact, have a really lovable/witty/funny character die. I am actually planning to do that. Actually, I think I already did it... with Zander.
And if I could give one of my methods, here it is; have the MC get really close to one OC, have them fall in love but if the player doesn't pick the right choices that OC gets killed by the jealous psyhco OC.
I'm not really sure if that is a method it's more like an idea I guess. XD
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#8 Post by Kura » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:40 am

Whether to kill off a major or minor character depends a lot on the reason. Killing of a major character is probably going to have a huge impact on the reader--that's great if what you're going for is getting the reader really deeply, emotionally involved, but you'd best have a good reason so the audience doesn't feel cheated. But it'll definitely take up the reader's attention, so if you want the reader to be focusing on other aspects of the story, or if you just need someone to die for logistical reasons to move the plot along, it's better to kill off a minor character.

If you're going to kill off a major character, it should serve an important function for the other characters or for the reader, preferably both. For example, one character's death might become another character's motivation for something. On the reader side, a murder might emphasize the idea of the "wrongness" of a certain group or philosophy that the murderer is affiliated with.

Of course, with a VN, the fact that you can have multiple endings changes things. A major character's death in a bad end can be an effective way to signal to the reader, "you made a really bad choice"--and if making a different choice averts that death, then it's not as painful to the reader, since they can still go back and get and ending where the character lives.
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#9 Post by Wintermoon » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:33 am

Killing characters off is OK when it's done correctly, but it's easy to do poorly. For example:
  • If minor characters die all the time but none of the major characters do, then it will seem like the major characters have plot armor, which can cause the audience to lose interest.
  • Conversely, if major characters die all the time, then the audience will be afraid to form emotional bonds with the characters, which can also cause them to lose interest.
  • If death is not treated as a serious matter, then the audience will have trouble identifying with the characters and lose interest. (Example: Fushigi Yuugi anime. One character's whole family is killed. By the next episode, he has already forgotten all about them, and the dead family is never mentioned again. That's when I stopped watching.)
  • Conversely, if death is treated too seriously and the characters spend all of their time grieving and being depressed, then the story itself becomes depressing and boring, and the audience again loses interest.
  • In a branching visual novel, if the protagonist could have saved the character, then the player should have a chance to save the character.
  • Also, expect the audience to lose interest if you kill off their favorite character before the end of the story.

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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#10 Post by OtomeWeekend » Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:06 am

>_> I'm actually not really fond of death but yeah, like everybody said, if its done nicely, of course outcome would be nice.

In my opinion, feel free to kill a character if:
1. It would make a big impact on the story, each characters, and the real theme of the story won't lose it.
2. Even if it doesn't make a big impact, might as well erase a character that isn't really needed. But at least, make it a biit dramatic than "oh, XXX died", "really, well, let's move on" ---or something like that.


About the Volg part,
I think it was nice that you killed him...no, don't misunderstand, my fave is Volg okay? But I think the premise was interesting,,, just that, after he died, it seems it was particularly nothing at all.. just the aftermath when he died...Cyrus regretting it but then, they moved on fast... I think its a bit off...
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#11 Post by azureXtwilight » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:53 am

OtomeWeekend wrote: About the Volg part,
I think it was nice that you killed him...no, don't misunderstand, my fave is Volg okay? But I think the premise was interesting,,, just that, after he died, it seems it was particularly nothing at all.. just the aftermath when he died...Cyrus regretting it but then, they moved on fast... I think its a bit off...
Maybe because they only spent a few days with him? ^_^
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#12 Post by LVUER » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:37 am

All this talking reminds me of.... Aeriiiiith (T___T)
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#13 Post by Mirage » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:07 am

^ Lol! As much as I like FF7, Aeris death was stupid. It was only good for shock value, but it created lots of plot holes. It also didn't make me shed a tear. I do, however, feel like crying when all my hard work for getting her strongest limit break was wasted.

Otherwise, I do agree with whatever everyone said.

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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#14 Post by LVUER » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:49 pm

That's why I cried too. Aerith at that time was my highest leveled character and after I spend so much time looking for her ultimate equipment and limit break.

Honestly, I don't feel too many attachment with Aerith. A different story if Tifa who died. I'll stop playing FF7 at that instant... (T___T)
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Re: Erasing a character... and he never comes back.

#15 Post by OtomeWeekend » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:42 am

azureXtwilight wrote:
Maybe because they only spent a few days with him? ^_^

Just in case.... I'm putting it in spoiler...
But he was still a comrade. Let's think about it, they only spent a few times together, but he still intimated with others, Cyrus looked up to him as a "senpai", he had guided them to the forest, and most of all, he saved them from dying.. I think this is enough to make even a little mesmerizing like "Oh, if Volg haven't saved us, what have we become of?" or "I just remembered Volg, he may have betrayed us... but, he also saved us..." or something like that... kinda just after his death, they did feel bad but they already forgot it the next day, if such important character dies,I tell ya, there should be more impact. ---geez, I'm so sorry, I really love your work but my hands won't stop typing this TT^TT please don't get mad at me...
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