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too attached to your characters?

Postby What's that up your nose? » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:16 am

Something really annoying has happened to me. I am far too attached to all of my characters, and I can't get rid of any of them. Has this ever happened to anyone else, or am I just a freak? Also, can anyone give me any tips on what to do?
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Postby Ariel » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:08 am

Why is it necessary to get rid of any of the characters? If you're that attached, you must've done a fine job bringing these wonderful characters to life in your story.
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Postby aldan » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:04 pm

It's part of the whole "We need to bring some sorrow into this story to help to balance out all of the other feelings that we are exploiting here" idea. I mean, many feel that if a story doesn't make you tear up, it's not a good story. *shrugs*

As for getting rid of characters, you WANT to become extremely attached to your characters, because if you do, then it's much more likely that your readers will, too. That way, the death will have more of an emotional impact (if it's death that you're speaking of) on the readers.

It's very tough to kill off a character, though, because not only are you attached to him/her, but also it's tough to get the right tone and feel to the death scene, because normally they come off as rather, um, over-dramatic. Hardly anyone dies after lying there bleeding profusely for several minutes of battle occurring and then has the strength to not only say what the author wants the character to say, but has the brain focus to do it. Lack of blood means lack of oxygen to the brain, which oxygen, in good quantities, is necessary for clear thought. Therefore, I'd like to suggest that you read as many good death scenes as you can, pick them apart and then use the ideas you get from them to help it along. However, you will need to first gain the will to do in a character, and that can be tough, as I said.
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Postby Ariel » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:59 pm

Even if the dying character can't speak, you could describe his heroic or tragic ending that will leave a lasting impression.
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Postby Manji » Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:05 am

I always get attached to my characters. You can't help it. But, just go ahead and kill one off. Do it in the most sadistic way possible. After that, it's fun!
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Postby Spiderkeg » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:11 am

The death of a character(s) should never be initiated to fulfill some story convention. I've seen many writers deliberatly write off a character to meet some plot device that is expected to take place.

I say only kill off a character if it really does serve a purpose to propell the flow of the story and to make an impact upon the characters/plot... not to just impact on the reader. Never kill of a character because you, as the writer, feel you have to in order to follow a list of literary archetypes and/or thematic elements.
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Postby Manji » Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:49 pm

Well, the sad fact is that people die in very essentially stupid and pointless ways. There are stories from Vietnam about guys who got up to move forward when an artillery shell exploded about two hundred yards away and sent a tree branch flying into the side of the guy's head. That's just how it is.
It's more realistic that, rather than moving the story forward, someones death moves the characters forward. After that, does the guy's friend hate all artillerymen?
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Postby Spiderkeg » Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:15 pm

I agree with you fully. I think it is realistic to have people dying in a story from moments in life. I just don't think a writer should feel obligated to kill off a major character because it is expected.
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Postby Sara » Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:21 pm

I always get shamelessly attached to my characters, too. I cry on those occasions where one of my characters dies. Heck, I cried once just comsidering the idea of killing one of my characters! I also go through a period that can only be described as "mourning" when I finish a manuscript, because I miss my characters. When you put that much time, effort, energy and emotion into developing characters, though, it's difficult not to.
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Postby Magus » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:52 pm

It's more realistic that, rather than moving the story forward, someones death moves the characters forward.


Manji, I couldn't agree with you more.

Now, personally, I love my characters, even the less favorable ones in their own way. But I look at these people I've made this world I've wrought with my pen, and must look at myself as the God of it all. And, like God, we as authors should craft the best characters we can and place them in the best world that we can. But the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. So, too, must we with our creations.
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Postby Ranryu » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:57 pm

One of my better developed Characters (My Name Sake) is based off of of several of my friends and even Has Some of Talon and D_Gabe in him. Which brings him to almost a Brother like figure in my own mind. :?
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Postby Magus » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:48 pm

Zeus killed his own father. In fact Cronus ate his children. Be as a God and smote him if need be.
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