I want to kill my characters

I think I can understand George R.R. Martin a little more today.

There are rumours and leaked Alpha scrips of the original Hanako path. If you’ve heard or read them, then basically there were three endings:

  1. Hanako Kills Hisao
  2. Hisao dies accidentally (after wronging Hanako)
  3. Hanako commits suicide.

That’s it. After being yelled at too much, there were a few more endings added in; the “Bad End” (which survives today and was based on a rejection of mine) and a “True” path (which was only accessible from the Lilly path).

And I had totally forgotten why I had done that until now. I’m maybe 85-90% through Arctic Gale. If you haven’t read it then please do, and then go on Reddit and repost it as “A Runner’s Afternoon 3”. Trolling for effect…

Anyway, I know pretty much what will happen in the remaining 3-5 chapters, but as I was writing today, that voice in the back of my head popped up again.

“I’ll let you write the ending you planned if you tell me why it can’t be a really bad ending.”

And, you know, that voice is write. There are so many things that can go wrong in the story now. I know that writers like Aura and Suriko like making sure that every loose end and story arc is completed by the end of the story, but… why? I know that obviously you need a conclusion, but dying in a hail of fire without achieving your mission is also a perfectly valid conclusion. Sometimes, the bad guys win.

It can be, in some ways, fun to write endings like “Hanako Punch”. One of the appeals of Game of Thrones is that main characters regularly do get killed, so you have to kind of accept that. You can’t be watching that show and thinking “Meh, it’s fine, the good guys will win and we’ll have a happily every after” story.

20150517131333_IMG_4422So, I’m at that point right now. I could really make it so that the whole story up until now was just a buildup to a massive anti-climax. Unfortunately for me though, I only really have one story thread and one set of characters to play with, so if I killed them off, that is the end. But, I guess that is also the point as well; when you write something, you want to know that these characters that you have grown up with actually achieve the goals that you set for them. Or maybe that’s just my Western view of the world.

Anyway, please look out for chapter 33 of Arctic Gale later tonight. (Edit – or now. Only a short one this time though, for dramatic effect).

PS: another Easter-egg, albeit tenuous – Tweedledee is the hot girl part of the Tweedledee and Tweedledum pair from Kiddy Grade. I couldn’t resist another KG reference…!


6 thoughts on “I want to kill my characters

  1. Hey Crud! It’s been a while since I was last here–I’ve been studying for next semester and other stuff. It’s painful. And if you do end up turning into GRRM, well then, I guess I’ll have to cry over the countless deaths you’ll inevitably put me through.

    On a much darker note, I found something rather disturbing on reddit:

    I don’t know if you (and the other KS Devs) can help me out with smashing this thing to pieces (since the creators apparently didn’t have the decency or guts to consult 4LS about this project beforehand), but it’s worth bringing to your attention anyway.

    Anyway, goodnight (or morning in your case, I suppose).
    I’ll hopefully be frequenting this place more often now–I look forward to you talking about your stories, both from real life and fiction.

    1. Hmm.

      Can’t say that I’m a fan, but trying to make that game will test them in ways that they will never imagine.

      I understand the “I love this so much that I want to do it again!” feeling. This is exactly how I feel about Higurashi… and why I made Katawa Shoujo.

      They need to learn how to focus that creative energy and point it in a new direction. I know that I can’t be personally credited with too much of KS, but I do know that a lot of the world came from my mind – a mind that was inspired and fueled by the number of Anime series, books, and TV shows that I’ve referenced in this blog a number of times over.

      And one thing that always nagged at me was that, even though (as Aura put it as I was leaving), “Yamaku is a product of your Weaboo brain” (it was supposed to be a compliment), I always felt that I didn’t own the project as it all came from Raita’s drawing.

      There is a much greater creative joy in creating your own work from scratch. This is why I really want to get AG done; something that is inspired by many, many things, but certainly a product of my own imagination.

      1. I agree–since I’ve “moved on” from fanfiction to making my own works (that are still inspired by my favorites, to be sure) four or so years ago, I can really feel the difference in my enthusiasm and passion for what I write. Well, that and you can never publish fanfiction.

        “I understand the ‘I love this so much that I want to do it again!’ feeling,” [but] “there is a much greater creative joy in creating your own work from scratch.”

        I don’t want to assume anything, but I think this should’ve been put beneath that copyright thing where it states that people can’t distribute or make sequels, prequels, or anything else of the sort. I think it captures why you shouldn’t do that, and is a really good reason. And it’s eloquent.

      2. And in regards to that thing that nagging feeling; Raita thought of the base concept, sure, but (and this may sound overly dramatic) you own whatever you contributed, as well as Hanako’s character growth. You took a few of the bare bones and added to it in a way that Raita probably (not to insult him/her) couldn’t.

        That’s how I see it, at any rate.

  2. And I just realized that I put this on the Internet, where everybody can see it. (Granted, there was no other way to bring it to your attention, but still)

    Well, I guess I know where my common sense isn’t.

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