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Ever have too much love for a character to put them through another story arc?

BearBear

Troubadour
This is why I stopped 4 years ago. My characters became friends, and putting them through drama and hardship was like slapping a friend.

Any thoughts to get past this?
 

pmmg

Vala
I think my characters would hate me if they ever knew me at all for all the stuff i put them through. Nope, this does not phase me. I am happy to revisit them even if its hard on them. I think i would get over this with the feeling that they dont really live otherwise.
 

Queshire

Auror
Well, I haven't reached that point, but that is why my characters tend to get... retired rather than ever dying.
 

Mad Swede

Maester
Kill your darlings, as they say. You have to be able to put your protagonists through the mill if that is what the story requires. At the end of the day, they're only characters, and if you can't maintain a distance to them and to the story itself then you're probably not going to be able to cope with the editing thats needed to get the book into a state where it is ready for publication
 
Thanks for that. I just don't have the heart to kill or permanently maim them.

Then give them plot armor. TV shows do it all the time, to the point that it gets ridiculous. Minor characters get killed or maimed all over the place, while the protagonist gets through the very same situations without a scratch. (Maybe that's why the Chosen One is such a trope in fantasy.)

Or just don't write about situations that are likely to get people killed or maimed. Though I would guess that if you're not doing that, you wouldn't be raising this issue.
 

pmmg

Vala
Jeez. My poor characters are missing body parts all over the place. One guy lost a leg, another an eye, one both his arms, one has been burned badly, many have died.... I am not sure where it will end. But, I kind of feel, if you get fights, bad things happen.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
Jeez. My poor characters are missing body parts all over the place. One guy lost a leg, another an eye, one both his arms, one has been burned badly, many have died.... I am not sure where it will end. But, I kind of feel, if you get fights, bad things happen.


No matter the odds, no one left behind. (Don't know if that link will work.)

The good of the one outweighs the good of the many.

Sophie doesn't have to choose.

I will find you, and I will kill... ah I mean, write you a strong letter because I understand your own personal issues and we're obviously misunderstanding your motives here. Let's come to middle ground here.
 
Then give them plot armor. TV shows do it all the time, to the point that it gets ridiculous. Minor characters get killed or maimed all over the place, while the protagonist gets through the very same situations without a scratch. (Maybe that's why the Chosen One is such a trope in fantasy.)

Or just don't write about situations that are likely to get people killed or maimed. Though I would guess that if you're not doing that, you wouldn't be raising this issue.
I have to agree with Rosemary Tea here. If you don't have the heart to put permanent scars on your characters, plot armor is the way to go. Have you watched any shonen anime? Even if the main characters are all poisoned or something like that and they are beyond healing, they usually make it out OK at the end of an arc. You should probably do something similar.

To answer your question, I cant say I can relate at all because my preferences are usually darker than lighthearted. I have to argue that its more appealing to readers. I mean if your characters went through tremendous ordeals countless times, and every single time they come out on top and are all fine without any scars, it gets kinda boring, no?
 
The drama and hardship you put them through has a purpose -- everything they go through should reveal more of them to themselves and to the readers. By letting them fulfil their purpose in your story, you can get to know them even better. You can't see the beauty of a geode if you won't break it open.

(Obviously, "break it open" here depends on your genre and your specific story. You don't have to permanently hurt anyone if that's not the kind of story you're writing.)
 

BearBear

Troubadour
if your characters went through tremendous ordeals countless times, and every single time they come out on top and are all fine without any scars, it gets kinda boring, no?

This is where the challenge comes in. To do this and still make it interesting is an art. I can't even think of an anime I liked that this wasn't true.
 
This is where the challenge comes in. To do this and still make it interesting is an art. I can't even think of an anime I liked that this wasn't true.
You might want to look at some superhero stories. They're good at pulling this specific thing off. Especially older superhero cartoons like the DCAU, where story arcs are very slow (if they exist at all) and the heroes are essentially the same characters every episode (so they can be shown on TV in any order). Lots of 'pulp' series are good at this actually, because they're designed to be read in any order; your average Western or detective noir character won't be permanently scarred over the course of the story but the individual books are still very engaging.
 
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