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1

All good answers so far. Let me add one concept that helps me: History is written by the victors. Everyone is the hero of their own story. All those people who died along the way did not survive to tell their stories. That's why the protagonist/narrator survives. If he hadn't survived, we would have gone to someone else to relate the events in ...


0

You may want to take an example from wars in history that had no good and bad guys, or even read the story from the "evil" perspective to find what complex motivations could be held. I think the best approach, if you want both sides to be "good" is to start the war due to some misunderstanding. Imagine, for example, a Russian nuclear missile accidentally ...


0

Although it IS okay to end a side story as soon as a character is killed off; it is NOT appropriate (i.e. seen as good writing by readers) to end a story without resolution of the character's arc. The "surprise" ending of this POV you outlined will be seen as crappy writing, it will not evoke any of the emotions you seem to think it will. In this case, the ...


3

You absolutely can do this What is appropriate or not is entirely a matter of your own personal style. How you handle character deaths is part of that style, and it may separate good works from the great ones. There are a couple of different broadly-generalised way to handle the death of a POV character. Hand that subplot over to another POV This is ...


0

It all depends on the point of view. If your POV follows that character, then once that character is dead, there is no one left to follow. In this case, it is your duty to convey to the reader through those last few moments of life that the story is ending. You could write that end in such a way that the soldier understands in that split second that he's ...


0

This is a great question, DPT! I would say that conflict doesn't always have to be taken in the literal sense. For example: Your protagonist has an orc friend she travels with. a conflict can arise from being in love with the orc while being expected, as the mayor's daughter, to marry some noble instead. Another conflict can arise from the orc being a good ...


1

A good Setting vs. Plot conflict I always like to use to demonstrate this is the Disney Film "Mulan". The Setting is Ancient China and the Plot is "Mulan must defeat the leader of the Huns, Shan Yu." Seems simple, hell, I'm old enough to remember the original trailer for the film, which basically gives away the ending: The Emperor of China: I've heard ...


0

"Cinderella" is a story with a heroine and villains, but the villains don't die in the story. That's because while the villains are "bad," they aren't so to the point of killing someone (unlike the witch in the "Wizard of Oz" or the queen in "Snow White.") Therefore, the step- mother and sisters don't suffer the death penalty, only the loss of a "race" to ...


4

Being hit by a truck would be a plausible cause for those injuries Now this is a morbid question. I really hope you're not asking us to provide you with an alibi to tell to the police... ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) She is wandering on a highway at night ("It has to look almost suicidal"). Why? Some kids do this kind of stuff for dares. Maybe she was drunk, or had been ...


2

I can recall a video game that did this in a very satisfying way; Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. In the final boss, you have Reflux the Knaaren, essentially the Big Bad, Andre's muscle. He's souped-up on a MacGuffin to the point of mutilating/mutating himself with its power. By the time you fight him, he's just a big, extremely powerful monster. The Big Bad, ...


4

Have you tried TV Tropes? It is a wiki which describes story "tropes" (i.e. the various narrative elements, tricks and occasional fails of the storytelling art). It is vast and has a loose but fairly well defined structure; tropes are organised by category and are extensively hyperlinked. Works, creators and genres are also given, with lots of links ...


-1

You are asking if there is a database where scholars are turning art, which is subjective in it's very nature, into a science. You do realize what you're asking is probably in some back corner of the net, if at all. As libli had said, there are furious debate on many different works of art, and especially writing, because it can be as complicated or as ...


0

Context matters here -- if your overall tone is one of cool detachment, then you do indeed need to detach yourself, and "simply report", and let the reader supply their own feelings about the death. Those are going to be more likely tilted toward anger, pain, and resentment if the character was sympathetic. This is much harder to do well. But if you're ...


5

Make the railroad do the heavy lifting This will sound weird, but the "train heist" tropes you are talking about are predicated on assumptions that are rather inconsistent with how railroads move goods. In particular, freight railroads are basically jumbo package delivery systems, with much more in common with a mail or parcel delivery service than ...


5

Particularly when done for comedic effect, this is known as a callback.


2

Heroes Have Consequences. Heroes cause major changes, and every major change is likely to be negative for somebody, and often that person is an innocent. No matter what the setting, defeating evil is meaningless if the evil is not ruining lives (or about to ruin them). It may take a war to defeat the evil, but in the process soldiers die on both sides, and ...


1

Realistically, life sucks, but most of us manage to find hope somewhere. Sometimes little girls have to grow up too fast and sometimes we have to deal with messes other people make. It sounds like your young lady is going to have a lot of tears and fight some battles she's not ready for. Let her fight. Let her cry. But, make it worth it in the end. “...


2

They say you shouldn't show gore, if you want it to have an emotional impact. Instead, show a teddy bear, or some other child's toy, sitting abandoned, or placed by a grave. The same can hold true for the opposite. You want to show it isn't grimdark, then show hope, show life. Kids playing in the streets as their mothers call them in for supper. Show women ...


19

Realism means variety, because real life isn't all one thing To some degree, you've answered your own question: I want there still to be hope in the story after these two events happen If a little kid's parents die, show him sometimes forgetting to mourn and having fun instead. If petty nobles end up ruling their fiefs unsupervised, show some of them ...


2

Being a writing forum, you'll no doubt get a lot of answers here saying "of course story is important." You might get a more balanced point about how much story work you need on Game Development. (But this is still probably a good place to ask about how to work on the story, once you've decided how much you need and how you're going to present it.) That ...


13

The technical term I have heard in writing is resonance. In psychology, we would call it priming of the audience. As you say, it isn't exactly foreshadowing, but it puts an image into the reader/viewer mind, perhaps even subconsciously, so her metaphor a little later seems more significant than if it stood on its own. It seems more apropos, as if she ...


11

I think that's what TV Tropes would call a meaningful echo, but I'm unaware of a technical term. They usually state one if it exists.


0

She could first. Buy a ticket Steal a ticket Forge a ticket Get a ticket under another name. If its a steam engine, get on while its refueling water. After that it depends what she is after. A shipment of gold. Sneak back to where the gold is and decouple just the train car with the gold on it. Preferable at night when her activities are harder to see, ...


0

A. You don't. B. If you have to, take the character out by surprise. Create a small plot where you are emotionally involved, if you could create a romantic scene, then when the audience is very involved in the plot, all of a sudden death arrives.


8

Do it for the sake of storytelling If you're asking yourself "should I bother", then you're not thinking of it as a passion project, like an artist would, but you're thinking of it as a way to make a quick buck, like a CEO would. It's not a bad thing, fine art seldom pays the bills, while cookie-cutter media is quite profitable. Just look at how many ...


0

Have your 'hero' make all of the plans, flesh out the story, buy the supplies, etc but occasionally have something obvious not be available (out of stock on dynamite) and then, right before your hero stops the train (1 mile before) have someone else stop the train for their own nefarious reasons that do not conflict with the hero's reasons such that she is ...


3

This depends on if its a Relationship building game, or a Collectors/Min-max game. In a relationship game, the stories are the key parts. You want to have multiple branches and unique characters that the player can collect or interact with. This increases your games replay value and allows you to appeal to a wide range of people who have different waifu ...


0

If you want to show people it's a war game, maybe you play out combat situations, roll dice to see who gets shot and who lives and dies based on the situation and whose number comes up. Literature and especially war and action fiction have had more than their share of contrived forced deaths the authors thought were good thematic ideas, but instead were ...


3

Yes, you should absolutely care about the story, and the gameplay as well, because those are what will keep people actually comming back. Art (and music) should always be secondary to making the gameplay good, and the story as well, even if you are using art as the premise of the game or as part of the gimmick. Even in waifu games, the art is there to draw ...


0

First. If you develop the characters first, the plot first or do them iteratively... or just start to write and then edit to make the characters work in the final version is completely a question of taste and writing style. You do not have to create the characters first. You should, however, as I will get into below, have well-developed characters, plot, ...


5

How crucial is a storyline in a Waifu game? It depends. (a lot of my answers start like that) I've played 'waifu' games with absolutely no storyline, but knock-out backstories for the characters you can romance. I loved them. I've played 'waifu' games with expansive storylines that made me want to burn my computer and bleach my brain. So let's try to be a ...


0

No, characters aren't interchangeable. If they are, nobody wants to read it. The plot happens to the characters, and people read to identify with the characters, as people, and they develop feelings for them (good and bad). Even in a plot-heavy story line, like those used in the current series Elementary (last season airing now; a Sherlock spin), the crime ...


2

Like most action stories, the train heist is a fantasy of agency, decision, autonomy, and freedom -- this is basis of the appeal of "rule breakers" in all kinds of stories. The audience identifies with the hero/heroine and vicariously enjoys their exercise of will, even if, or especially if, at the expense of others. As most people in most societies are ...


4

I don't recommend it, but you can take a Hollywood/American morality play approach. Put something in her current or past behavior that is ever-so-slightly corrupted, or slightly off center, or even the tiniest bit not pure-as-the-gently-driven-snow-virginal. When she dies, rather than address the actual situation or the injustice or the randomness-of-fate ...


13

If what people are primarily looking for in X is Y, then you had better make Y excellent. If you don't have great Y, then mediocre Y + a great story isn't going to cut it. But if everyone (including you) has great Y, then ALSO having a great story is what is going to make your work stand out from the pack. It's the attention to the optional details that ...


3

Stripped of all the self-aware, meta jargon, the problem is that your hero isn't well suited to a big, action-packed showdown --she's more likely to win with her wits than her fists. Given that, I'd lead the reader to expect the big, action packed showdown, allow her to be physically overpowered, and only then reveal that she's already anticipated this ...


2

Heroine plans big heist...then sees cargo unattended prior to being boarded on train, so makes off with it before the train leaves the station. Or heroine does this, but still needs to get to the train's destination, so has to board the train with the cargo, but the nature of the cargo makes this hard to do without being caught. Or the heroine secures the ...


8

How to kill a character you are attached to? ANSWER: Write a few alternate versions of the scene--in one the character dies, in others the character does not die (coma, loss of limbs, etc). Then get on with the story. After you've written more story, with the anaesthetic of knowing you have versions of "that scene" in which the character does not die, you'...


10

There are plenty of genres that exist solely for a particular purpose or to deliver a type of scene. Pornography (no comment). Slasher (mostly films, all about gory ends to stupid or unfortunate people). Romance (two people get together, often against all odds. Characterization matters in this genre, but not plot). Action (fight! fight! fight!) Some ...


8

I think this may be a matter of opinion; different psychologies will answer differently. Personally, my characters feel real to me; but I remind myself of a few things. I go back over what I wrote for her, reminding myself that I invented her, all she really consists of is these words on paper. It is like sketching a person, then burning the sketch. In ...


16

You don't detach yourself from the character. On the contrary - you let yourself feel the pain of her death, experience the loss, and you pour all of that onto the page. When a character dies, it should matter. It should be a punch in the gut for your audience. That can only be achieved if you care about the character. If you don't care, if you've detached ...


74

You don't. To put it in more words: the audience has to get attached to make the death relevant. You want her death to be a wake-up call, a touch of realism and a reminder of what war is. Sure, there is no guarantee that your audience will like the same characters that you like. But if you realize that you've grown fond of that female soldier, if you find ...


19

Don't detach yourself emotionally from the character. Rather, experience the character's death as a major part of their arc. This is not a real person who is gone once dead; this is a fictional character, and their entire arc is what makes them who they are. Make the specifics of the death contribute towards making the character even greater, and love the ...


1

She races to the station to try and board the train, and - it's not there. Where's the train? She waits around for half an hour and the train still doesn't show. Turns out the cops/FBI/DoT/whoever already knew about the danger and stopped the train 3 stations ago...


1

It's hard to answer this question without being overly broad. Length and Structure The blogger These Heterogenous Tasks has been writing his analysis on specific CYOA books. I wrote a summary of his article Standard Patterns in Choice Based Games. Certain branching structures lend themselves to different end-goals and game styles. Gauntlet stories have 1 ...


2

Personally, I prefer to build characters, put them in the setting, and let the plot happen on its own. There are already some really good ideas about how to build plot, so I'll try to talk about character. First, who is your character with reference to the rest of the story? You could call this motive - why do they do what they do? Does their motive make ...


3

As Galastel says (+1), your character needs to be involved and want something connected to the problem. If the empire has become an engine of conquest, perhaps your character is in danger of being conquered, or in the process of being conquered, or has been conquered, and their resources stolen. But you should write this as personal: The character may be a ...


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