Is This Death Not Dramatic Enough?

by Arianna

Question: I have a character in my story named Shemar, who is the main character's idol (for lack of a better word at the moment) and by the ninth chapter he's had four or five scenes where his character is really showing, and he's really endeared to the readers.

In the ninth chapter, there's a fight where characters are being held at gunpoint and the chapter ends with a gunshot. The tenth chapter opens with the main character staring down at Shemar's dead body while he's bleeding in the snow.

Should I have had a little thing of dialogue there or should I just let the story roll this way?

It was a total twist that Shemar was the one killed (that would take a long time to explain) and so I don't know if that twist and then my graphic vocabulary combined would be enough drama for one scene or if I needed something else to kind of just take it up a notch.

Please help. <:)

Thanks. :P

Answer Arianna, I can't possibly answer a question like that in a satisfying way, having not read the story so far (and I don't review manuscripts).

So much depends on how you write this death.

From the little you've told me, I don't see a problem. However, the best thing is to have some people read the manuscript and ask them how they feel about the character's death. If they answer in a way that shows the death had little emotional impact on them, you may want to revise. If they seem to be affected by the death, in the way you hoped, you're probably good.

(It's always more useful to watch people's emotional reactions to a story than ask them, for example, what's wrong with it or how to improve it.)

Another useful technique is to watch your own emotions as you read over this section, especially if you set it aside for a few days before you look at it again. If it moves you on re-reading, that's good. If it seems dull or flat to you, consider revising.

It's amazing how a few days away from a story can increase your objectivity.

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