A one liner that completely breaks all the hopes of a character?

In my latest project there is a single line that completely breaks the protagonist.

This is the whole conversation

“But, history exists! There are things from the past that survived, like the book I found!”
“That old book and that old newspaper? Might be real, might not be”
“What are you saying? These are objetive proof that the past existed!”
“Truth is, Javiera… the game was rigged from the start”

After this the MC loses all hope

What do you think? Do you have any similar lines in your story?

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I did something similar where my protagonist was excited to have achieved something of worth toward their dreams, only to be told by the person they respected most, “Stop wasting everyone’s time.”

The protagonist took these words as their efforts stupid and wasting other people’s time. They gave up on their dreams. Also, giving up on their innocence and humanity. Those few words crushed their spirit to make them a ruthless gangster who didn’t care. They lived an apathetic life.

Well, I was testing out a negative character arc at the time.

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“I was not lying when I said my name was Satan.”

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oooooooo that’s very good!

I have two of them.

One at the very end of Book 3 when my MC discovers her fate. It’s less a line, more a scene.

Then there’s one at the end of Book 7 (not on wattpad yet) where MC meets The Beast and has no choice but to accept what her fate will be and loses all hope of stopping it

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This is really nice, I like the attention to detail, and showcasing the mirror image to two characters’ reaction to the same thing. It presents a nice transition from ‘hopeful’ to ‘hopeless’.


I somewhat have a scene like this, but it’s underdeveloped.

“Have you any last words?”
Faun drops her head and let out one long, ragged cry.
“She cannot speak, your majesty. Her tongue has been removed.”
“I see. Well, so shall it be.”

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Wow. Such a powerful line!

“I’m only going to McDonalds to buy myself a singular black coffee.”

I like breaking down characters. In several places, I use the “heroine’s own words” to break her down.

Rachael unconsciously calls her mate a “fucking primitive” in her head (telepathic link), and it sets off a fight that gets him to pull over and damn near bend the steering wheel.

The problem is that a lot of her early memories are repressed, and she lived without modern conveniences until the age of about 10, and the way she insulted her mate in her head was the same way she had been insulted by her own mother as a too-young-child. So, she’s got all sorts of layers to unpack, the one that sticks out in her mind is not understanding indoor plumbing when most kids would be old enough to take care of themselves, in that regards.

“Please.” Ink’s voice wavered. She held their hand gently. “I’m not going to watch you die.”

Poppy shrugged. “You already are.”