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Forums » Smalltalk » How to Write an Emotional Death Scene

So I am currently working on a series with one of my friends, all of which comes very easily to me based on my roleplaying experience, but there's one thing I cannot seem to write at all, and that would be death scenes. I can write them just fine, if vague and boring is what I'm looking for, but I can never get unique with them and make them emotional enough to the point where I cry while writing them, or rereading them after a long time of not looking at the script for it. As it is a script I am writing, the death scene would have to be emotional through dialogue, yet I feel like all of the scenes I write, all of them result in the same general idea. If you could give me some pointers, it would be much appreciated!

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Well, the first key thing is, you have to have a proper build-up, you have to make the reader/viewer feel/care for the character that's about to die. How far into the story is this death scene? Do the other characters deeply care for him/her?
VocaCoreMauUniverse Topic Starter

Subtleknifewielder wrote:
Well, the first key thing is, you have to have a proper build-up, you have to make the reader/viewer feel/care for the character that's about to die. How far into the story is this death scene? Do the other characters deeply care for him/her?
I would say fairly far into the story. Each character that is planned to be killed of would be a well liked character, but not to the point where the reader would lose interest if said characters were killed off.
Awesome! Now for it to have an impact, it also needs to have some time devoted to it. Maybe not the moment they die, which could come out of nowhere, but they need to pause to have a moment of memorial at some point if the death is sudden.

If they have a few moments after the mortal wound, perhaps have them talk about a regret, something they'll never get to do with the other(s). Something that has had meaning to the story before this point, not something out of left field that wasn't even implied before. If they're the type, perhaps even have them have a last laugh or something, before coughing up blood (if relevant) and the eyes going glassy in death.
The best advice I can give is, go back and re-read some logs. Think about the adventure your character has had so far, just as in their final moments (assuming it's a drawn-out demise) they'll likely be thinking about the life they've led, the people they'll miss, the things they did accomplish or dreams never realized. Read their life and- even if this is a temporary death- write as if this is truly the end for them, as if you'll never experience the joy of writing that character again. Think of all they've done so far and pour your heart out.
what i would do is study some of the most iconic and memoriable death scenes whether it's from harry potter, lord of the rings, dragon ball, full metal. You can probably find a scene out there that fits your scenario. I'm not saying to copy it but simply to study why the death scene works what about the envirnoment, the character's arch before their death. Was their death deserved
I have written (and on one occasion, acted out via LARP) death scenes for a handful of characters. Generally what I have found makes it impactful is a combination of previous ties to the characters - or between them - and awareness of the impact of a loss. I have lost a previous partner and I have used the grief and the memory of that initial awareness of their death to better detail the scenarios where the same is taking place. Reading how death scenes are written in other media can also help, particularly where there has been a mass fan response indicating that they were written well and the death was not glossed over.
To add and maybe repeat some of what others have already said.

1. Express how they feel in that moment. Are they scared? Regretful? Accepting?

2. Does it hurt? How do they normally react to pain? Show it.

3. Intensify their emotions, things they want to say but maybe they can't its to late it hurts or they can't speak.

4. who is there how do they feel about them? Can they manage to say a few words? Is it only thoughts, memories of them or of better times?

5. is there some one they hate are they there? are they responsible show it in their expressions.

6. Do they know something that needs to be revealed? maybe they get the chance to tell it, give a hint or try to.

7. Who is around them (watching them die), how do they feel? What emotions would express them best in this moment. Anger? Grief? Guilt? Uselessness? Despair? Anguish? hysterical (possibly laughing in disbelief)? and so on.... Or are they happy, glad and can barely hide it because of who the person is.

8. If they are alone thoughts are the most important. Mix them with moments of pain or of the feeling of fading.

9. For signs of dying, vision blurring, voice weakening, body shaking\trembling, ranting, begging, crying, rage what ever fits the situation.
It is very important for the character who dies to be sympathized with and loved by other characters in the book.

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