View Full Version : Problematic of Tragedy

05 May 2005, 11:17 PM
Hi, i'm writting a sequel for my book(the complete story are about 10/11 books, in which this one represents just a tiny bit in the timeline, but even so, an important one like every one else). Just to give u some info for u to understand my problem better, this novel is set on a medieval-fantasy world. Without wanting to give to much away, In the last chapter the main character(of that book, which i'll call U-Person) died in battle, leaving the last 150 pages for this character (i'll call him A-Person for the moment) Person-A to have the leading role(A-Person was a very close friend of the U-Person). A huge war has place, and A-Person and his faction are victorious. About 10 years have passed after the events in book1. The A-Person and his friends(Persons B, C, D, E, F, and a special person which I'll call X (hope i'm not becoming too confuse!)) are going to be the role characters in this one. The problem is, to make the book work with the Book3(which had it's script written a long long time before book 1 and 2) characters B, C, D and X must die.

Now here comes my problematic:

B, C, D and X. This means 4 main characters dying in about what? 300 pages? that's a huge massacre. I don't want to lose my audience by doing this(i've seen what happened to the Movie Final Fantasy the Spirits within). So i hope u can help me get a solution for this.

I already have thought of 2 ways:

1st way - some sort of premonition in Greek's Tragedy Way. The sequel could start like A-Person narrating in a monologue (starting the book2 from it's actualy ending)-"My name is "A-Person" and i'm the last survivor of my tribe...each other is now dead." - which kinda gives the audience the expectation of something really bad is going to happen, and they someway fell powerless as they read the whole thing happen in front of their eyes. Tought they know it will happen, they dont want it to.

the second way is to left the narrative go by itself, kill each character in it's respective time, not mentioning it by any means that a tragedy will happen. And when it happens, it will be completly unexpected for the reader, which kinda gives the sense of massacre and brutality/reality of what is to live in that world. The problem of this second one, is that it might be too much killing for the reader to handle, and i might lose readers here(which i dont want too :) ).

So, hope u mates can give me good ideas/suggestions on the better way to solve this problems. All are welcome.

Please help.


Jean Genie
05 May 2005, 04:21 PM
Killing characters does not always have to leave a gap. What you can do is make sure you have something strong to take the place of that character (doesn't have to be an other character, it can be a situation, as long as it's thrilling and it captivates the reader. Don't leave too much space for mourning right away, that can come later. If I may assume that you have read Dune, there's quite a few examples of that kind of counter-balance.

I would definitely go for that more than telling people characters are going to die. That's very tricky buisness. Your story will have to be VERY good in order to keep people on reading.

Hope that helps. Good luck with the book.

05 May 2005, 04:26 PM
thank you.

06 June 2005, 10:30 AM
Hi, I would go about it the Greek tragedy way, but not necessarily with a narrator. You can hint at it in some other way as well. Have a look at The Wild Bunch by Peckinpah - before the final massacre starts and the anti-hero quartet start loading their weapons, there's no question as to the outcome. I hope this helps.

Also a wonderful example of suspense is the movie Rush, which, after the first half an hour maybe, gives an outcome so clear you don't have to start guessing. I still haven't had the guts to watch it to the end because the main characters are sympathetic and the suspense is so heavy.

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