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Resurrection: Your Thoughts? : Take it Outside! • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

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SRaaymakers
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Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby SRaaymakers » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:18 pm

I am contemplating bringing a character from a previous novel back to life in the sequel. This will act as the motivation for the main character and set up the end of the trilogy well.

The resurrection would be only available for a minority of people in the world, and have vast consequences, mostly bad (earthquakes, schizophrenia, the return of an old nemesis).

The articles I have read claim this cheapens the death of the character, and makes the novel trivial. Your thoughts?
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Rosedarling
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby Rosedarling » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:24 pm

I think if the resurrections are done the way you describe with a consequence it would be fine. It's done all the time in movies without cheapening the character or trivializing the story. It' sounds better than having an evil twin.
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby SRaaymakers » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:58 am

Indeed. I think balance is key here: A good thing happens, but it brings along something bad.

In this case, the character dies to end an evil. So when they return, the evil returns with them. Bring back one, you bring back the other. Which opens an entire dialogue in itself.
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby TwoStepCharlie » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:18 am

It can be a real stretch not to make the result trite or trivial. For every one time someone manages to do it adequately, there's 100 examples of someone doing it insultingly. Remember Occam's Razor and the KISS principle. The more complicated gyrations and acrobatics and twists you give a plot, well...suffice to say that simple stories are usually the most moving and profound. If you can avoid doing something in a complicated manner, then avoid it.

I myself have a story which involves reincarnation, but I knew going in that this element would be jarring. So I didn't try to mix it in as an afterthought, didn't try to combine it with multiple other story-aims. The whole story itself 'is about' reincarnation. It works, but only when given a suitable context.

Something to keep in mind (perhaps) is this: if someone was reading your story in the aftermath of a loved one's demise, how would they take it?
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby SRaaymakers » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:06 pm

Wow, your last point is interesting. I'll have to think hard and carefully about this.
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby TwoStepCharlie » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:19 pm

Top man. Remember: 'Kent, a good reporter doesn't find great stories. A good reporter finds stories and makes them great!'
--Perry White, Daily Planet
8-)

I actually clicked on your topic first because I had hoped someone else besides myself, was recalling a very favourite movie of mine: Ellen Burstyn in 'Resurrection'. It's about a woman who undergoes a near-death experience and acquires the power to heal sickness in others. Very moving and maturely handled. A flick like that very much influences my own writing.
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby TwoStepCharlie » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:26 pm

p.s. I think this is the part that worries me:

"would be only available for a minority of people in the world"


One person coming back to life, okay. But lots of people??
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby shadowwalker » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:47 pm

Maybe I watch too much TV (yeah, I know I do :? ), but I get a little leery of resurrections. They tend to be almost a deus ex machina in that it allows the writer to change things from the earlier work in order to make the current work more interesting. Not that it can't be done well, but it also should be done carefully. Personal choice only, but I would rather read a story involving the repercussions of the death than the resurrection of the dead.

And yes, I also share the concerns about it being more than just the one character. Then you have to come up with a believable reason why some and not all (or even most).

That would be the crux of the matter for me - can you make it reasonable (within the context of the previous story) and believable.
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Re: Resurrection: Your Thoughts?

Postby SRaaymakers » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:33 pm

Interesting. I actually think "If one, why not more?". In my book, certain characters have magic powers (for want of a better term). Only those with these powers could be resurrected by another with those powers. But the main reason they aren't all brought back to life is because of the terrible repercussions of doing so.
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