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 Guide to How to Kill a Character Properly and Dramatically

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MaidInAmn
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Subject Post 1PostSubject: Guide to How to Kill a Character Properly and Dramatically   Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:08 pm



Guide to How to Kill a Character Properly and Dramatically
By UHCM

D
eath is just as natural in the role-playing world as it is in real life. However, when it comes to killing a fictional character, the players and readers don’t have that much sentimental feeling for a character that is not theirs. However, regardless of how insensitive the player can be, they can still feel some sentimental value towards a certain character because generally, humans are emotional people who would feel sad when something they like are taken away. Most often, they forget how important that a character can be until that character is lost and out of their reach. Same way as how a teenager can resent their parents (even if the parents raised them well,) but feel hollowed out when they find themselves alone without any news of their parents returning. Like music, fictional characters are like the extension of one part of a person’s personality. Frederick Chopin played his piano furiously because he felt terrible about not being able to participate in the insurgence in Warsaw, Poland. When it comes to killing a character, you cannot do it right away. Why? It is like making a sandwich; you made it with effort, then just eat it until it is all gone; you can taste the splendor of the sandwich, but can anyone else taste the same sandwich as well? You have to make the sandwich big enough for you to cut a piece for each and everyone else. It just takes time to make it for everyone. In the end, everyone gets a piece and can probably taste it like you tasted it as.

Q1: I wanted my character to die, but why should I hold back?
A: Simple, if you just started or have too few characters (like 1-3 friends), you should hold back until your character made more friends and made enough influence upon the other characters. Often times the influence affects the players as well if you applied enough time with their characters. This is what is called, “The Climb Stage.” The Climb Stage is the point that it would be disallowed to kill your character...unless your character is a horrible failure at life and forgot the basic technique of walking and breathing at the same time. Anyhow! Your character should be making friends and have relationships at this point. So go nuts and do be careful because if your character is terrible, people would not care about your character.

Q2: I’m at my prime! Can I die now?!
A: Easy, housefly! You cannot die yet unless you are sure that you are at your character’s Prime Stage. The Prime Stage is the second stage and the midpoint of it all. It is when your character has filled out the prerequisites and some (at least half of the people like your character) and your character turns out to become awesome in his/her own little way. When your character is at his or her prime, it is best to find some optional choices of how your character dies, the Prime Stage is the best time to start planning since you are not so focused on trying to make friends and increase influence.

Q3: I have decided on some options, what now?
A: Find the reasonable ones that would be realistic in a sense. So you cannot just have your character get killed in a nuke kaboom. You have to make it something that is within reach of your killer while having two kinds to considered; the Slay and the Bleed. The Slay is when your character dies virtually in an instant; typically it makes the feel so sudden and can potentially catch anyone off-guard. However, sometimes the Slay option is not available as somehow, you blabbed about it, so the second option is the Bleed. Bleed is when your character dies a slow death, giving the illusion to the other characters that your character can potentially be saved, but in the end, there is nothing they could do and your character dies. It only works if the players thought that they could save your character, so if that element is not there, the death is criticized instead of becoming a tear-jerker.

Q4: I chose one of the options, how close I am now to killing my character?
A: First rule; do not blab at all; there is always an admin for that and they would not blab about it anyhow, they generally acted like they forgot about it. Anyhow, now that you have decided on the method, you have entered the “Point of No Return” called the “Fall Stage.” The Fall Stage is the final stage when the flaws came around to bite your character in the butt big time and death is inching closer to your character. If the Climb is good and the Prime is good, then they became the means that creates the great death scene. The Fall Stage is the hardest stage of them all because it involved the bad guys exploiting the weaknesses of your character and eventually takes the opportunity to kill your character on the spot where your character will be vulnerable. At the same time, you don’t want to make it too short and too long. If it is too short, everything will end up confusing the players and they will question you more than feeling for your character. If it is too long, you would be viewed as hesitant and too emotionally attached to your character, therefore ruining the emotional-sentimental quality of that one-shot death scene.

The simplified conclusion of this...To serve a delicious sandwich for everyone, do not do it too quickly or the quality will suffer and do not take too long or the ingredients will rot and people will complain.

__________________
    MaidInAmn
  • Plays as [?-?] Jiyūna Seishin
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  • Zodiac: Earth Dragon
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"I took roleplaying and storytelling with a live-and-let-live attitude, thus the idea of a character doing something out-of-character would add more to the character than letting it stagnate into an archetype or a character. Here: A rapid change to a character must be met with an in-the-moment conflict. Ta-da! A rule to live by!"
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