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Committing Murder... Of Your Characters

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14 hours ago, Sinfulwolf said:

I often get attached to my characters, and while sometimes might have trouble letting go I still can because it can make the story better. Granted my current story is an Urban Fantasy with stripes of horror, so there’s a decent amount of gruesome death. And I often have it on page to be read. 

I love horror fantasy fusions. But yeah, I absolutely believe you can be super attached to your characters and empathize with them yet still be more than happy to slaughter the fuck out of them. Doesn’t mean you’re less attached than someone who wouldn’t hurt their characters, I think it just means that you made a difficult decision, or like the more emotionally driven writers like me, let the story sweep you away and did what it demanded. 

 

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2 hours ago, CloverReef said:

I love horror fantasy fusions. But yeah, I absolutely believe you can be super attached to your characters and empathize with them yet still be more than happy to slaughter the fuck out of them. Doesn’t mean you’re less attached than someone who wouldn’t hurt their characters, I think it just means that you made a difficult decision, or like the more emotionally driven writers like me, let the story sweep you away and did what it demanded. 

 

“I’ll take deranged psychopathic schizophrenic serial killers for a thousand, Alex.” :)

As always, it depends on the story being told.  Also, with how I write my stories, death is a part of life, as I was reminded of earlier this year.  I also generally opt for simple means, gunshot, electrocution, etc, not overly complicated in the method.

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8 hours ago, CloverReef said:

I love horror fantasy fusions. But yeah, I absolutely believe you can be super attached to your characters and empathize with them yet still be more than happy to slaughter the fuck out of them. Doesn’t mean you’re less attached than someone who wouldn’t hurt their characters, I think it just means that you made a difficult decision, or like the more emotionally driven writers like me, let the story sweep you away and did what it demanded. 

Well I just hope I succeeded in an erotic horror/fantasy fusion. ]

As @Desiderius Price has, death is part of life in my stories. I tend to go less simple. Even a gunshot makes a hell of a mess. I personally feel its what makes my stories mine.

I’m curious though if others find that a messy death can make a character’s death less emotionally impactful. I don’t think so myself, but there’s always various opinions out there.

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19 minutes ago, Sinfulwolf said:

Well I just hope I succeeded in an erotic horror/fantasy fusion. ]

As @Desiderius Price has, death is part of life in my stories. I tend to go less simple. Even a gunshot makes a hell of a mess. I personally feel its what makes my stories mine.

I’m curious though if others find that a messy death can make a character’s death less emotionally impactful. I don’t think so myself, but there’s always various opinions out there.

I personally think long, creative and messy doesn’t necessarily take away from the emotional impact. Gratuitousness miiight in some cases, depending on how it’s written. The most important thing to me, when I write a death scene where I want emotional impact, is if it’s breaking my heart to write it. I need it to break my heart if I want it to break the hearts of my readers. 

I tend to favour the messy stuff, but that comes from my horror background. Messy can make a spiral out of control more powerful and put a spotlight on raw, messy emotions. If you wanna get philosophical about it, it can be a metaphor for a lot of other emotional things going on in the story.

Personally I like my death scenes real intimate and raw. Though I don’t think I get all that complicated either. (Scene in bathroom = heavy soapdish to the head) Something that happens spontaneously to normal people who don’t have guns just hanging around, so in the heat of the moment, they have to improvise, or they’re giant winged monsters and everything they do is messy anyway, lol. I can’t say I’ve done a lot of death-by-gun bits. At least not with main characters. It usually doesn’t make sense for the circumstances I lay out, or the settings. If I wrote about gangsters or cops or hunters (or republicans?) more, I probably would.

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6 hours ago, CloverReef said:

I personally think long, creative and messy doesn’t necessarily take away from the emotional impact. Gratuitousness miiight in some cases, depending on how it’s written. The most important thing to me, when I write a death scene where I want emotional impact, is if it’s breaking my heart to write it. I need it to break my heart if I want it to break the hearts of my readers. 

I tend to favour the messy stuff, but that comes from my horror background. Messy can make a spiral out of control more powerful and put a spotlight on raw, messy emotions. If you wanna get philosophical about it, it can be a metaphor for a lot of other emotional things going on in the story.

Personally I like my death scenes real intimate and raw. Though I don’t think I get all that complicated either. (Scene in bathroom = heavy soapdish to the head) Something that happens spontaneously to normal people who don’t have guns just hanging around, so in the heat of the moment, they have to improvise, or they’re giant winged monsters and everything they do is messy anyway, lol. I can’t say I’ve done a lot of death-by-gun bits. At least not with main characters. It usually doesn’t make sense for the circumstances I lay out, or the settings. If I wrote about gangsters or cops or hunters (or republicans?) more, I probably would.

Like tags, for every rule I make, I break.  Messy can be fine for the story, or not, depends on the impact even though I do tend to keep the means simple (ie, not tying victim to a draw bridge and waiting for the next tall boat to come through, causing the nearby cyanide-gas filled chandelier to break in response to an elephant rampage).

i do measure the desired impact on my characters.  I did have one scene where I was going to have my main character witness a thousand being massacred, but had to change it so he’d only see a couple, because I figured a thousand would really screw him up, even a couple will haunt him.

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6 hours ago, Desiderius Price said:

Like tags, for every rule I make, I break.  Messy can be fine for the story, or not, depends on the impact even though I do tend to keep the means simple (ie, not tying victim to a draw bridge and waiting for the next tall boat to come through, causing the nearby cyanide-gas filled chandelier to break in response to an elephant rampage).

i do measure the desired impact on my characters.  I did have one scene where I was going to have my main character witness a thousand being massacred, but had to change it so he’d only see a couple, because I figured a thousand would really screw him up, even a couple will haunt him.

Absolutely. I think it depends on the story and the impact I’m going for too. I just touched on messy in response to the comment before mine. I like quick and clean just as much as messy; it always depends on what’s right for the particular story. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy writing the messy ones best. 

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3 minutes ago, CloverReef said:

Absolutely. I think it depends on the story and the impact I’m going for too. I just touched on messy in response to the comment before mine. I like quick and clean just as much as messy; it always depends on what’s right for the particular story. Though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy writing the messy ones best. 

The grisliest in my stories has to be the woodchipper.  (If you google right, you can get the coroner’s report to a real one.)  Though I’ve used trains, chainsaws, and, of course, bullets.  Electrocutions, unfortunately, leave no mess (which was good at the time, I didn’t want to get blood into the furniture beneath the victim, gotta save that!)

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52 minutes ago, Desiderius Price said:

The grisliest in my stories has to be the woodchipper.  (If you google right, you can get the coroner’s report to a real one.)  Though I’ve used trains, chainsaws, and, of course, bullets.  Electrocutions, unfortunately, leave no mess (which was good at the time, I didn’t want to get blood into the furniture beneath the victim, gotta save that!)

They can, from what I’ve learned from my father who works as an underground electrician. Not only can burns be nasty, but he’s had groundhogs get decapitated when they get into substations. Electricity moving through the body can cause both entry and exit wounds, and those wounds can go quite deep. While not always visible on the surface, it certainly can be.

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6 minutes ago, Sinfulwolf said:

They can, from what I’ve learned from my father who works as an underground electrician. Not only can burns be nasty, but he’s had groundhogs get decapitated when they get into substations. Electricity moving through the body can cause both entry and exit wounds, and those wounds can go quite deep. While not always visible on the surface, it certainly can be.

In the case of the electrocution, it was premeditated while also trying to have it be masked as “natural”, so big wounds would be a give-away that it wasn’t natural.

Edited by Desiderius Price

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2 minutes ago, Desiderius Price said:

In the case of the electrocution, it was premeditated while also trying to have it be masked as “natural”, so big wounds would be a give-away that it wasn’t natural.

Not necessarily. An accident in a substation, or from a transformer (the electrical devices, not the robots in disguise), can cause from very very serious wounds. However, I don’t know all the specific details of your particular case. I just wanted to state that electricity, even by accident, or perhaps especially when it’s an accident due to the massive amounts of power that’s in certain devices, can make messes.

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5 minutes ago, Sinfulwolf said:

Not necessarily. An accident in a substation, or from a transformer (the electrical devices, not the robots in disguise), can cause from very very serious wounds. However, I don’t know all the specific details of your particular case. I just wanted to state that electricity, even by accident, or perhaps especially when it’s an accident due to the massive amounts of power that’s in certain devices, can make messes.

Yep, I’ve plenty of stories about instant BBQd squirrel bits.  So high voltage can most definitely do interesting things.   In my story case, I simply needed a murder, and the killer knew what he was doing, so it was relatively clean, so to speak.

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9 minutes ago, Desiderius Price said:

Yep, I’ve plenty of stories about instant BBQd squirrel bits.  So high voltage can most definitely do interesting things.   In my story case, I simply needed a murder, and the killer knew what he was doing, so it was relatively clean, so to speak.

That’s fair. It's all what works in the context needed.

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