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Dealing with the death of a character's loved one

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Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:30 am
Payne says...



I wasn't sure whether to put this in Writing Tips, Ask An Expert, or The Lounge...apologies if I have placed it wrongly.



Something’s been bothering me for a while now. It’s regarding a movie I watched some time ago; the main character’s wife had died a year and a half earlier. They had two children together, and it was obvious that he missed her quite badly.
The story was a customary apocalyptic drama, and the MC was a key factor in whether or not Earth survived.
However, early on in the film, he was reunited with an old colleague, who was also trying to save the planet. It was quite obvious that they’d had a relationship in the past.
During the suspense and action of the main plot, their romance is rekindled.

When the dramatic and emotional plot-climax rolled around, I was so disgusted with both of them that I didn’t give a damn whether the MC lived or died (not to mention the fact that they were both incredibly flat characters).

The movie spans maybe two or three days. By the end of it, the MC and his old flame are basically living happily ever after. The kids are willing to accept this woman as their new mother. The MC is blissful.

From the standpoint of a viewer, a writer, and a human being, I felt that he forgot about his deceased wife a little too quickly.


I've been debating this a bit with one of my own stories where the MC's lover dies, and I have to decide where she goes from there.
So my question is this: is it okay for a character to find love so quickly and completely after the death of their beloved? Or do you risk alienating the reader/viewer?

(I hope this made sense...it's 2:30 AM right now, and I'm a bit tired.)
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Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:31 pm
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MillarS says...



What movie was this? It sounds good.

I guess it depends on the genre of the film and how they planned to target their audience. Some romantics would think it would be good for the main character to find love so soon after a death, but I personally think he should have waited. If you felt he forgot about his wife too quickly, fair enough, but others may think it's best he got his mourning out of the way. I guess it also depends on the main plot of the film: was there more to it or was what you described basically it? I think deaths of any kind should be drawn out to a certain extent, not just vanish or contiue for morw than 45 minutes of a film.
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Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:07 pm
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Payne says...



Ah, wow, forgot I had even posted this...

Thank you very much for the input. :) And I can't remember the title of the film, but I think it might've been Impact, or something along those lines.
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Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:16 pm
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MillarS says...



Cool, no problem. I didn't look at when it was posted, so now I feel a bit stupid... Oh, well!
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Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:53 am
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TheAceofAll says...



I think it kinda depends, in some stories its okay for the MC to move on after a year and a half. Maybe the wife sick for a long time or they really didn't love each other or had a strained marriage. If this is true, getting over the death might have been a little easier. In the movie, did the MC show any remorse or gilt about being with the new woman? If any, then that may be all the grief that he will show (everyone is different) As for the kids, well, kids in general are resilient to things like that especially when they are young so maybe this movie is within reason. I once saw a show where when the guy's brother died who he had lived with for years, just went to the funeral and moved on.
P.S
i got you beat, it's 2:51 am right now :D
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