In writing, sometimes a death is planned and other times the character’s choices decide this for them. A fellow writer will understand this, but for those of you who are simply readers, I’ll explain.
As a writer, we want readers or gamers to question the actions of our characters; which we occasionally give answers to so one can understand how and why they reached whatever conclusion befalls them. Simple human behavior. Makes sense, right? Building a connection that strings you along in the story, is of course, our lifeline. Someone could have a great idea for a story, but if we can’t get someone beyond ourselves (as the writer) to care about those characters who struggle, then the reader won’t join in on their travels. At the same time, if the characters are interesting but the story is lacking, then the reader can still loose interest. It’s a lot of pressure. Usually, for me, if the characters are written well, it can at least drag me through to the end of a story that I may not be particularly a fan of. That is how I have watched certain shows for so long because even though I’m tired of the story and plots twists and think they are laaaame, I still drool over the male lead and pray the female leads meets her demise. *coughsvampirediariescoughs* My shame…moving on.
The characters we write, are like living entities in our brains with thoughts and feelings all their own. It is almost like having split personalities or voices in our head. Of course I don’t personally have the experience to compare it to, so perhaps that’s not fair to say, but you get my meaning. I listen and envision scenes in my head and listen to them engage with one another and the plot points so that I can then type them to a word document. Most of the time, the scene begins with a word or a line of dialogue. As I listen to them rant in possible scenarios, I either get some great lines that I need to find a use for in the plot or I find additional plot points to use and need to find witty dialogue for.
In this endeavor we then create a story and we talk to those characters and cheer them on or scold them in their ill decision making. An example I’d like to bring up is this PS4 game I’ve been obsessing over at least once a week on, where I spent almost twelve hours yesterday playing in order to unlock more of the story. I’m sure most have heard of the Dragon Age Series but what makes this series so addicting is the live action movie you get to control and play out by your decisions YOU want the characters to make. Granted there are preset options, but there are MANY to choose from. How one interacts with each character can change and effect the world quite easily. Each game stores the decisions and you can transfer those choices to the next game, making each gaming experience a personification of free will. I must have played the first two games at least two or three times, which is not as much as one would think because I was far from playing out the story with all the possibilities and damn it I MUST know them ALL!
I’m going to talk a bit about DA3 and if you are a gamer and don’t want to possibly hear any spoilers (honestly I won’t give many) then don’t read on. I chose to play a female character and I’m a sucker for the romances and all the character development throughout the story. This game is so massive compared to the other games, that I honestly don’t know if I’d play it more than once. I may just wait and go for round two later on or cheat and watch youtube videos. Honestly, the story took me a bit to get really into, but I am a loyal fan and I don’t regret my patience.
So anyway, I was a little flirt with everyone but finally decided between all the eligible bachelors (and single ladies) to romance Cullen, a character that was seen in the chaos of the other games. It honestly had come down to Blackwall, Solas, and Cullen, but it seems I have a thing for Templars. Lol. Blackwall..I think it’s Blackwall. It confuses me now because in the Shadows of the Forgotten series Camila and I write, there is an NPC (not a main character that others can control) that is a blacksmith named Blackwell. Funny. Whatever, ours was there first. >.>
The point I am trying to make is that last night, while playing DA3, there is a scene that plays out between the main character and the Warden Blackwall. They are sitting around at the tavern, sharing drinks, and Blackwall has this impulse to tell my character a horrible, horrible memory. I know it has a purpose for the story, but honestly I cried. It was that jaw dropping, eyes bugging sort of moment where, knowing what I know, sealed his fate.
I am also not ashamed to say that if dog was replaced with human, I may have decided to NOT kill him. Animal cruelty I just will never be desensitized to. I am not saying I have no sympathy for human suffering; far from that. It’s just that little story ripped my heart out.
Again, this story is VERY relevant to Blackwall’s plot in the game and you find out afterwards that he essentially is working to make up for similar past transgressions. Like all those who commit crimes in this game, my character, the Inquisitor, gets to pass judgement on those who stand accused. You get the options to jail people, set them free, make them work for you or the wronged party, or of course death. I cheated and looked up on youtube how that plays out and felt sorry for Blackwall then. I felt moved by his honest desire to right his wrongs.
That was until the dog story. He was right; he might as well have tied the noose himself.
=.= He will pay for his crimes but in reference to this topic, this is a golden opportunity to point out that here is where the reader gets to sentence a character to death.
Speaking of dogs though, there were Mabari hounds in the first two games but there isn’t any in this one. I was very disappointed to not have a squishy dog to pet and ride into battle with. *Shakes head*
Anyways, this game gives the reader/gamer the opportunity to play out the story as they see fit and they don’t need to criticize the writer to what they feel SHOULD have happened because if you don’t like how it went down with one then just play again and choose another. Granted you can’t choose how things will play out with everything as some things just can’t be helped.
Here’s some in game music to leave you with. ^.^