Too much Death? Or no?

Hi everyone!

:joy: This is like my third thread I’ve started in the past two days, so I’m sorry!! Preptober’s got me brainstorming up a storm and I don’t have a lot of people I can talk to outside of WW for feedback… So you’re getting all my questions, sorry!

Here’s the problem: my M.C. is killing off EVERYONE. Like, whenever I feel like I need conflict, she volunteers and the poor guy standing closest to her is dead before you can say boo.
Well, not quite that dramatic, but she’s killed three people seperately since the beginning of the novel, and we’re on chapter 7. Literally a death every other chapter. And all the deaths are kinda important for the plot to progress but her reaction to each of them is all the same:
“Oh, shit. What have I done?” You know, eyes well up with tears, the whole shebang.
She’s supposed to be horrified by death. Is there any other reaction you guys can think of besides this, though? Or maybe do you think I should cut down on the deaths? (lol I’ve found that killing people off is my favorite part of writing this novel so far though but still)

Any suggestions?

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seems to me that this is the right amount of death… :eyes:

but maybe delay the reaction, or make her numb from guilt so she’s unnervingly silent and weeping withoyt a word. Mute horror/shock.

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So you mean what else can she doe besides cry and think ‘what did I do’ after each killing?

Well she can just go completely numb. Feel nothing, say nothing, do nothing.
She can write it off as a dream. It wasn’t real, I didn’t do that. So just deny that she did anthing.
She can try to fix it. Be like sh*t I killed him let me revive you, eventhough she probably knows it can’t happen.
She can bury them properly and apoligize in a prayer,…
She can also start getting used to it, like the first time she cries and the second time, the third time she might feel horrible but feels that she also likes doing it and as the story goes on she cries less and less.

That’s what I can think off right now…

But having lots of killings isn’t that bad. I’m writing about an Assassin and he kills a lot of people too :sweat_smile: All for the good cause offcourse :grin:

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This. Is. Brilliant.
Denial! Why didn’t I think of that! This is going in my notes right now. By the time you’ve read this post it will be in my notes.

Great idea! I’m going to revise this past death and put this in, definitely.

Thank you guys so much :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

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Well I try :relaxed: :joy: haha
You are very welcome :slight_smile: :grin:

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This will get repetitive fast.
Here, have this:

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Ooh, super helpful! Thanks so much, I needed this!

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Out of curiosity: what genre is the book?

If death is important to your plot, keep it in. Just remember: your character is turning into a serial killer (NOT a mass murderer). Being exposed to death often will “numb” the effect of seeing the body. Your character will get used to it, for lack of better words. Your character will also evolve and devolve, develop a signature and change as an individual.

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The genre is Young Adult Fantasy

And yes, that’s partly what I’m afraid of. I want her to have a moral battle within, and be repulsed by death, and in turn repulsed by herself, making part of the theme forgiving herself for what she’s done. I want her to change as an individual throughout the book, but not in the serial killer direction… :confused:

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Well, if she wants to change for the better - then she needs to stop killing soon. She will have to fight her own thoughts for the remainder of the book, to deal with what she’s done and who she had been, but it’s possible for her to fight.

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Okay, thanks a lot for your advice, it’s really making me think. I’ll take that to mind!

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Or if she wants to dignify her actions she can start killing only ‘bad’ people. So she can kill but say it’s for the better because she rids the world of bad people.

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True. Here are the reasons for her killing the people she’s killed:

  1. Well, she didn’t technically KILL this guy, but she feels guilty for it because the Queen killed him because Magda was too ‘weak’ to kill him. Also, she made him suffer a bit before he died, so she feels guilty for that, too.

  2. This guy was innocent, and it’s the one that haunts her the most. He was going to alert the guards that she was escaping the castle, and she got scared and her powers basically went out of control, killing him.

  3. Okay, this was self-defense. The guy was trying to kill her, and she didn’t even mean to kill him, she lifted her arms up to sheild her face and he touched her arm intending to kill her and then he died because her powers went out of control (same as before).

So, some of it was justified, I guess? It doesn’t make it any less horrible, but still, the last guy was kind of a ‘bad guy’.
I’m going to have her friend help her control her powers so she can focus on using them to heal people, not kill them. Thanks for the advice!

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This IS what some serial killers believe. They’re often referred to as vigilante killers.

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All these deaths will become redundant to the reader of your MC has the same reaction every time. The actual amount is fine, but consider each of their worths, if they all have the same life worth then it will feel like too many deaths. Make sure each person she kills leaves her with a different emotional weight, a different reaction from her and from the world.

Some she can kill without another glance, others are more difficult, some with hesitation. Her responses can be different too, ranging from numbness, regret, satisfaction, denial e.t.c. Remember, if these deaths do not move the plot forward, bring change in your character, or add something to the overall theme/message of your book, then it should not be there.

And yes—having your character kill people is tons of fun. Having your character make mistakes and regret them, even more fun. We writer’s love torturing our characters, don’t we?

Anyway, best of luck with the writing. I do hope your MC does not turn into a mass murderer.

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That’s a really good point with the different life worths. I’m going to ponder on that. Also, with moving the plot foreward, definitely something to take into account.

Ah, yes indeed :joy:

Haha, thanks for the concern. I’ll do my best :joy: :grin:

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always a fun thing to ponder about, haha

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So two killings where actually accidental? That’s different though, because she didn’t mean for it to happen but they just ‘did’. Seems to be two different things. One is feeling bad because she killed people without actually wanting to and Two, being scared of her own powers :slight_smile:

Good luck with your story!

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Yes some maybe do, but as she tells it her character has powers and they accidentaly ‘happen’. So her MC can still learn to use your powers to do good. Like a super hero who takes out the bad guys.
It’s all in the way how you write your MC I guess and what you want them to turn out to be :smiley:

My main MC is a killer as well. Initially I wrote him as this stoïc, rude, arrogant and heartless killer.
But as the story went on now he’s mostly serious about his work, which is taking out leaders who take advantage of their people but he’s also friendly, helpful, loyal and wants the best for the world. That’s the great thing about writing. You can make it all you want :smiley:

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With killing characters you want a variety of deaths. Especially with a good variety of motivations and of course, methods. Killing them immediately can work for the first one or two but it’s gonna get to the point where it’s kinda the same thing so I’d recommend not only setting up characters to die but also give a good variation as to how. Not to mention there are fates worse than death.

Right now, I’ve been setting up a big fight scene against a kid who basically tortures people out of no control, circumstance and plain curiousity. She’s a big threat but the deaths that follow aren’t caused by some magic strength or powerful object. They are caused by avoidable situations. Deaths that can be prevented but aren’t hurt the most when the situation can be prevented by a ‘shove out the way’ or a ‘different method of rescue.’ These characters can be setup to die and then watch the one they love take the fall. There’s far more to a death than meets the eye.

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