Nov 14, 2012

Two Must Die

      I've never gone on some church retreat or mission trip thingamabob. Never particularly cared. They all sound the same to me. Marketed to say you ought to go in the same way and everyone always says the same things when they return. 

      That is, until I was told about this game. . . I laughed at it at first--what a stupid game it was. But it stayed in the back of my mind. 4-6 of you are trapped in a cave. If any want to escape, two most hold up the opening to allow the others to leave. Two must die.

      The point of the game is to examine yourself. If you died right now, who would it affect? Who still needs you? Or does no one?

      I thought I'd forgotten about the game completely. Then, one day, I started thinking on it. I was in the cave. I needed to die. The others would need to live more than I would. Everyone would be sad at my death, yes, but they wouldn't need me.

      Or, so I thought. The more I sat and contemplated on it, I realized there were  people who needed me. It felt like a life or death situation (for me, I guess it was. . .). I had to survive. If I didn't, something bad would happen (yes, I overdramatize everything).

      I've made you sit through all of this for what? Simply, our characters are the same way. They have to have a reason to survive. If they don't, why do we even bother with them? It would be much simpler to let the big, bad antagonist destroy them. Why do they need to live?

      As I feel like it's a life or death situation for my own survival, so must the reader for the character. Put your character in that cave. If he or she died right now, what would it matter? 

      Make sure it matters. If not, why does the reader bother?



  1. Eep, yes, that was slightly freaky...

    Sounds a bit like what Mrs. N said last night. "So what?" The reader wants to know why they should care. Same deal with the characters...why do they even exist?

  2. YES. This is what I'm always telling writing friends. Make sure they matter! Sure I always make sure the death matters, but it's a great point. Why do their lives matter? Of course it complicates things if you have a main character who thinks life is hopeless. *glares at Fluffy* But it's so true. Why do their lives matter?

  3. Ms. Mind Reader? Exactly. It was hilarious that that meeting went into that because I'd been comtemplating that yesterday morning. So funny how these things work out. However, I was back to thinking on the cave thing last night/this morning. Sorry to be freaky, but I thought it would illustrate the point.

    Alley? Bah. Characters who don't think they should live should still have a reason to, eh? And the deaths HAVE to matter. Otherwise? Why are we crying like little hopeless maniacs? *wails*

  4. Grims. This was such a thought-provoking post, and me loveths it. The game where two must die? Woahness. Daunting paradox. Where did you first hear about it from, just curious? And it near broke my heart to hear you say you say... "I was in the cave. I needed to die. The others would need to live more than I would. Everyone would be sad at my death, yes, but they wouldn't need me." SO SO SO SO SO SO UNTRUE. PLEASE don't ever think that again because if you do I will be forced to scream at you or do something similer.
    "Make sure it matters. If not, why does the reader bother?" This quote is particularly awesome and super quotable. I may have to borrow it sometime if you don't mind. ;) ;)

  5. *grins* I know I don't need to die. I was just willing to sacrifice myself for the others, that day. I don't particularly want to die. I had myself thinking so hard that I was almost there. I nearly began to cry. O_O But then it hit me all the people who needed me and why. Then I couldn't die. And yes, the game is one of the most interesting games I've ever heard of. I heard it from someone in my youth group. She went on some retreat thingamabob to a place I believe was called Palmer House. Or Palmer Home. . . Or something. I'll have to re-look it up later. And I don't mind if you borrow that line at all!