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How do you Kill a Villain?
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DoctorBollocks



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 80
Location: Tennessee
How do you Kill a Villain?  Reply with quote  

Yeah how do you kill a villain in your story, do you have to draw it out or is it sudden, does it have to be dramatic or just...there it happened?
I have a villain like character and I'm wondering if I should kill him but I am having trouble thinking of how to kill him. so..how does a villain die, is there a different formula for all the different ones or is it generic?
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Post Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:35 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
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I'm going with slow & painful so we can savor it-
or just really ironic...

Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:03 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LostInWalmart



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 1900
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slow and painful, just like sex.

no, wait. I mean... oh never mind.

Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:58 am   View user's profile Send private message
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
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LostInWalmart wrote:
slow and painful, just like sex.

no, wait. I mean... oh never mind.


Woooooo-hooooo! Now you're talkin!

*Ahem.*

There's no stock answer to your question, I don't think. It's all relative. Why does your villain need to die? How should he die, can you see it in your mind's eye? Who's gotta be the one to do it? Would it be vigilante justice or misadventure?

I knew one of my villains was gonna bite the dust. I even wrote how he was set-up to die by one of the other baddies, but didn't write his actual death. I think I just wasn't "feeling" it--nothing compelling came to mind so I left it at that and trusted the reader would understand the dude was done for. (And the sad thing is, or maybe it's a normal thing, even though I knew he had to die I felt like a heel---and still do---for killing him off.)

MONTHS later, after several drafts, I was doing something completely unrelated to writing when it occurred to me that my main protagonist needed to be the one to do the guy in. As soon as that came, I knew exactly how she'd do it and how it looked, even. The dialogue between them that led up to it was more difficult and took three or four tries before I thought I had it right, but the death bit was easy (and actually rather quick) by that point. As it turned out, how my villain died mattered less than the fact that the chick had what it took to kill him.

So I guess what I'm sayin' is, I don't agree with attempting to follow any formulas, unless you're writing in a genre with very strict conventions. Also, while I believe in the discipline necessary for writing (applying yourself to it on a regular basis, whatever time commitment that may mean for you), I don't believe in trying to force a scene. If you're stuck, I suggest writing something else or just taking a break.
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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:40 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
mllefifi



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 8964
Location: Deleoware
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Ironical demise usually works. You know, when the villian dies by a means that he would apply to someone else but not to himself.
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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:18 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
J.B.Chamberlin



Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 52
Re: How do you Kill a Villain?  Reply with quote  

DoctorBollocks wrote:
Yeah how do you kill a villain in your story, do you have to draw it out or is it sudden, does it have to be dramatic or just...there it happened?
I have a villain like character and I'm wondering if I should kill him but I am having trouble thinking of how to kill him. so..how does a villain die, is there a different formula for all the different ones or is it generic?


That's a very difficult question. First I would ask this. Is your villian a democrat or republican?

Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:26 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
JustAGirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2008
Posts: 2230
Location: North Carolina
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I would say the speed, pain and brutality of the villain's death should be in direct proportion to how villainous they were in the book.
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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:33 am   View user's profile Send private message
urhangovergirl



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 705
Location: center of the purple haze
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I've always preferred abject humiliation over killing. If it's going to be violent I want to get a few laughs out of it.
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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:35 am   View user's profile Send private message
Wonko



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 4787
Location: ...but it's a hot heat
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Oh! I know! Have the villian walk by a tall building when a lab assistant throws a bunsen burner out the window of one of the upper floors so that it falls and kills him!
...or has that been done before?
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Post Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:12 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DoctorBollocks



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 80
Location: Tennessee
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[quote="Sephonae"]
LostInWalmart wrote:

*Ahem.*

There's no stock answer to your question, I don't think. It's all relative. Why does your villain need to die? How should he die, can you see it in your mind's eye? Who's gotta be the one to do it? Would it be vigilante justice or misadventure?

I knew one of my villains was gonna bite the dust. I even wrote how he was set-up to die by one of the other baddies, but didn't write his actual death. I think I just wasn't "feeling" it--nothing compelling came to mind so I left it at that and trusted the reader would understand the dude was done for. (And the sad thing is, or maybe it's a normal thing, even though I knew he had to die I felt like a heel---and still do---for killing him off.)

.

So I guess what I'm sayin' is, I don't agree with attempting to follow any formulas, unless you're writing in a genre with very strict conventions. Also, while I believe in the discipline necessary for writing (applying yourself to it on a regular basis, whatever time commitment that may mean for you), I don't believe in trying to force a scene. If you're stuck, I suggest writing something else or just taking a break.



Well I am decided if he should die but if I do decide for him to die ow should it be done?
The villian...he's..called a villian because he does bad things and is not good...or anyhting like that at all.
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:44 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
JouleZ



Joined: 06 Jul 2008
Posts: 162
Location: Next to the kitchen window
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DoctorBollocks wrote:
Well I am decided if he should die but if I do decide for him to die ow should it be done?
The villian...he's..called a villian because he does bad things and is not good...or anyhting like that at all.


In melodrama they just pelt the villain with popcorn. Get some Orville Redenbacher's and have at it until you figure it out. Might be relaxing. Wink
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:52 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
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JouleZ wrote:
DoctorBollocks wrote:
Well I am decided if he should die but if I do decide for him to die ow should it be done?
The villian...he's..called a villian because he does bad things and is not good...or anyhting like that at all.


In melodrama they just pelt the villain with popcorn. Get some Orville Redenbacher's and have at it until you figure it out. Might be relaxing. Wink


Oooh! And as he rants at his attackers, an unpopped kernel flies up his nose and perforates his brain, killing him instantly!

(I know, I know it's not as good as the bunsen burner solution...)
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<=== Dressing in dismal chic and maintaining her detached aura of aristocratic chill since 1985.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"You can't wipe your ass with empty promises." - thread title, by walk

Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:00 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Watching The Wheels



Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 3412
Location: DC
Re: How do you Kill a Villain?  Reply with quote  

DoctorBollocks wrote:
Yeah how do you kill a villain in your story?

With an ice pick.

Or extremely bad puns.
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Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:07 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
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Every time I see the title of this thread, I think it should be a song...

Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:45 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
mllefifi



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 8964
Location: Deleoware
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Maybe he tries to pop corn with a bunsen burner...
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Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:47 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
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