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Writing a Cruel And Unusual Death without being insulting.:
So I'm writing a Fan Fic at the moment, and there's a scene later on where the Big Bad horribly tortures and kills to major characters in order to test a new drug he's invented. This scene is meant to be the big Gut Punch of the story, throwing it into Anyone Can Die territory, as well as being the Big Bad's Moral Event Horizon crossing moment. I feel it's necessary for the story and is not just a shock death. However! The two characters that are horribly murdered are both incredibly beloved by the fandom and I'm worried that many fans will see this as a personal attack, and feel that I killed of the characters simply to spite them or because I hate the characters. (There is a trend amongst Fan Fic writers to horribly kill of characters simply because the author dislikes them. A trend I despise.) So any ideas on how to mitigate this potential reaction?
Just keep the relevant segment short. Less on the details and more on the ambience.
That should work. I was planning to make use of Nothing Is Scarier in that scene. Conversely, there's another Cruel and Unusual Death later on that I do intend to be graphic about because despite suffering a horrible No-Holds-Barred Beatdown the character keeps getting back up and facing the villain, genuinely earning his respect. So I feel I should keep that scene graphic so the audience can see exactly what she's fighting through.
Terracotta Soldier ManReally, the best answer I can give to these sorts of questions is: Go ahead and write the scene as you imagine it without thinking too much about it, then set it aside for a bit and do something else for however long it takes you for the idea to stop feeling "fresh." Later, come back to it and read through what you've written with a critical eye. If something rubs you the wrong way, change it, then set it aside for a bit again once your satisfied with the changes — wash, rinse, repeat. Once you feel comfortable with less than the occasional mechanical tweak, then show other people and get their opinion on the scene. You don't have to take every negative review you get as a sign that something is direly wrong, but if there's a consistent pattern to the criticism (i.e. the same specific things get pointed out by multiple people), then it's likely that you'll want to take a second look at whatever it is that's attracting that attention.
Who you are does not matter.It's a cruel death. Being insulting is arguably necessary.
"Who I am does."
True, but I want the audience to be offended at the villain not at me the author. For instance I saw an episode of Atop the Fourth Wall where he reviewed Justice League: Cry For Justice. and was absolutely INFURIATED (genuinely, this was not Played for Laughs) by the death of Lian Harper, and brought up a similar point to what I'm saying above.
Sailor Moon FanYou could make sure that you show that it's not at all a good thing that these characters are suffering such a horrible death. You could focus on sympathizing with the suffering and pain these characters are going through, rather than on the villain's point of view if the villain is the type to be gloating and happy about killing these people. I personally wouldn't assume that an author hated a character just because he/she killed them off in the story, that would more depend on how sympathetic the character's death is portrayed. It's kind of hard to help if I don't know what story these characters are from, though.
edited 24th Apr '13 9:48:55 AM by Rainbow
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!
Bieber My BallsI would also add that making sure the character's deaths actually affect the characters who are still alive is important. The most insulting thing you can do, when killing a character, is to have everyone else in the story not seem to care. To use a recent comic book example: Avengers Arena killing off Red Raven. The only character to show an actual reaction to it was Arcade. Literally no one else seemed to give even the slightest fuck about it. That is the greatest insult you can deliver. That's saying, "Yeah, this character's totally useless, and their fate doesn't matter in the slightest." So make sure that people in the story care about what happened.
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