Poof! You’re dead. (The secret to a successful story)

Of late, any book series/TV shows that I’ve read or watched bear at least one death – which is a really minimum amount, actually – if not more. Harry Potter, Divergent, Pretty Little Liars, Revenge, The Hunger Games, Khaled Hosseini‘s books are some of the few examples I’m talking about. With The Hunger Games, I think, once you read the synopsis, you know what you’re getting yourself into with the book, and I think it’s inevitable that it’s NOT for the faint of heart.

 

Personally, I react to the death of a fictional character just as I’d react to a real-life death. I start to see the story differently, because, oddly, it’s always some character that I’m fond of – or recently taken a liking to – who dies. A death always leaves this sort of hollow feeling, and the story’s always incomplete without them. Fans (whether readers/viewers)  tend to get attached to a character, and apparently, killing them off only makes things more interesting or exciting. At least, that’s how the writers and  producers seem to think. In a bid to avoid monotony, perhaps, they do the unexpected. (which has, in recent times, become the expected). They put a main or a relevant character’s life hanging by a thread, make them face life-threatening situations, and, ninety percent of the time, don’t let them make it through. This, too, has become a fad in books of today. Survival is mainstream, and much more normal and expected than dying, and so, to change things up, they take the alternative.

 

I never really learn my lesson. Or even if do, I don’t do anything about it. I always have to pick a favorite character. And then, I’m compelled to sit behind and watch, helplessly and breathlessly, as they face their death, killing a part of my little fangirl heart, which tries hard to stay calm through it all. I keep telling myself that I’ll get stronger with each death, but it never does happen. I haven’t actually faces a death of someone close to me in real life, but I think I’ll be emotionally ready for when that happens, thanks to the 87-something deaths I’ve already had the chance of experiencing through books and television.

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-CF

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