TL;DR: How much time and development is necessary for a character I intend to kill off and replace with a second character so that both feel important to the narrative?
I've looked over this a bit, and there's one thing I just can't figure out in my writing... Does anyone have any suggestions? I plan for the works to be a series of five novels. The main character (named Leon) develops a VERY close friend (or love interest) in book one (named Cancer). The two are very close, and therefore I need to have meaningful character development between the two. HOWEVER, Cancer dies very early on in the series. I'm very unsure about how to time this though, because another character named Ian is introduced to the series after Cancer's death, and I want to make both characters relevant to the story.
I've already looked it over, and I've decided that Cancer's death is very important to the series and WILL happen. It progresses the plot (the main villain in the series makes himself known as playing a part in Cancer's death, and Cancer's death itself also releases this villain from a prison of sorts.), changes Leon's character for the rest of the series, and Ian is introduced after Cancer's death.
I wish to write Cancer's death scene pretty close to the end of book one. My problem: How do I make readers become attached to Cancer and actually care about him dying in only one book? Ian and Cancer cannot be in the story at the same time. I don't want readers to think that Ian is just a cheap replacement, like Leon's "new sidekick" or something, especially if Cancer is killed at the end of book two rather than book one. Both characters are completely different, even if they share a backstory and a friendship with Leon. I feel like if I kill Cancer in book one, I'm giving up a bit of Cancer's character. If I kill him off in book two, I feel like I'm giving up a bit of Ian's as well as plot.
It may also help you to know that both Ian and Cancer's childhood backstory are linked, though Leon doesn't know it until book three or four.They knew each other as small children, and were like brothers in a very messed up situation until Cancer and Ian were separated. Both boys were severely mistreated for separate reasons, though maybe Cancer more than Leon. Cancer's spirit is also a minor character in the last book, as a result of Leon going temporarily insane and seeing Cancer alive again almost a hallucination. Therefore Cancer IS technically seen again, but he's still...dead.
I really hope this was enough to understand the gist of this further, this is about as well as I could explain without explaining the entire plot of my story. Thank you for the help and any advice you'd be willing to give!
another thing... I know this was already a lot to read, I'm sorry. But I needed to ask one more thing about Cancer's development... Cancer's character is left VERY messed up after his childhood, and through some issues with science he's left very void of emotion. He was made to be a perfect little leader, and to accomplish this his past tormentors left him almost without a personality. Though Cancer's state of mind HAS improved a bit throughout the years, he's still sort of... dead inside, I guess. Leon sort of becomes like a therapy friend for Cancer, and he's actually fairly improved at the end of book one... right before his death. But how would I write a relationship, or even a beleivable friendship between to characters if one's basically emotionless? I suppose I could give Cancer emotions, just leaving them very mixed up or addled instead of gone entirely, but I'd still love to hear some other points of veiw.
THANK YOU FRIENDS, BOTH FOR READING ALL THIS MESS, AND FOR ANSWERING
Cancer's name is not after the disease, but the zodiac sign. Yeah, it's a very unfortunate name, but there's a character for every zodiac.They are similar to gods or leaders of each of the star signs. For example, Leon is the "specialist" of Leo. He is the only Specialist to not have a name that exactly matches that sign because he was born on Earth, not a Zodiac's planet. Ian is not a specialist, so he has a somewhat normal name. The other Specialsts have names like Libra, Gemini, Scorpio, or Cancer... I just didn't want anybody thinking I named this child after the disease or anything, it's all purely based on the zodiac signs.