Terrouge E-zine Archives
Blood, Gore and Death
This article, as the title suggest, is about death scenes. As such, some of the passages in this article are fairly descriptive. This is just a notice about this fact.
Everyone loves a good bloody death scene (and if you don't, why did you click on this article?) Whether it is while reading a book (or fan fiction!), watching a movie, or slaughtering orcs on the good old computer, death scenes are always the parts that get our blood pumping and unleash our inner killing machine. But how does one go about writing a good stomach-churning, heart-tearing, and overall makes-you-want-to-cry-and-laugh-insanely-at-the-same-time death scene? Well that's kind of the reason why I'm writing this article, so without further ado: how to write a death scene.
First, you need a reason why you're writing this morbid tragedy. Disease is always nice, but not often very bloody, so we're going to go with good old fashion battle. When writing a battle scene it's very important not have a week stomach because you are going to be using phrases like "the blood trickled from his body in a crimson stream, dyeing the grass red as it made its way along the blood-stained ground" and other gruesome descriptions of bodily fluids or organs. In fact you can make the scene as descriptive as your twisted little mind can think up.
So your battle is going well, but now all the blood is making you feel a little nauseous and to say the least all the ruthless killing is starting to get rather dull so you want to spice things up a bit by having some huge, tragic event happen. Now, in most stories this tragedy is the loss of the protagonist's dearest and closest friend or love or, if you want to make the story extra tear-jerking, the death of the hero himself (for a noble cause of course). So the first thing you want while writing this is to clearly state the fact that the unfortunate one has no possible chance of recovery. I mean, it's not to thrilling to have the brave leader give out instructions to how the army, rebellion, cult, (take your pick), should be run after his death, then confess his undying love to the person of his dreams, only to have him recover an hour after his proclamation. It sort of subtracts from the drama.
Now, the noble hero is on his deathbed. Everyone is gathered around; crying their eyes out, the tension is building, so now what happens? As said in the previous paragraph, the dying champion should make a speech. One would think this is rather hard to do when one's guts are leaking out and one is coughing up a number of disgusting juices, but that is how it's done. You can make the speech anything you want as long as it sounds noble. Proclamations of love and friendship are always a good idea, but hey, it's up to you.
Okay, the protagonist has made his no doubt heart-stirring speech and has fallen into a state of unconsciousness. He's served his purpose and now it's time to kick his useless form out of your story. There are a number of ways you can have him die: death rattles, assassination (though not really necessary at this point), or even dieing peacefully in his sleep. The only thing I beg of you is to make it quick; no one wants to read about a half-dead corpse for 10 pages.
Well that's about it. The funeral arrangements are made and then you can carry on with your wonderful novel. Have fun writing the most gruesome things you can think of.
Fare thee well,