Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chapter 16 Coming Together & A Contest

I read somewhere (I know I should have this link, trust me, I'm looking for it), if your story is dragging a little, then kill something.

Death has a big part in my book as I strip away my MC's support structure leaving them (that would be the singular use of 'them') to stand and find their own way in a harsh new world. In 15 and a half chapters I've managed to to remove a beloved sister, my MC's innocence, a would be partner, four natives, the lesser antagonist, and now the father.

To come is the death of two brothers, the crippling of a third, the death of a doctor, the demise of the mentor, and a few other characters both major and minor.

And yet this book has a happy ending. Of sorts.

Lots of interesting ways have been used to remove people. Spears, tree branches, a plough, a gunshot, strangulation, drowning, stabbing, poison, and few more surprising things I've thought up.

My doubts over chapter 16 have vanished.

Tonight I've managed to add 1098 words. After rereading chapter 15 and removing 9 words I could live without, I have a grand total of 1089 new words added.

So lets hear it: How many gruesome ways have you managed to kill off characters in your tales of twisted delight...

I'd love to have a prize for the most ingenious, but living in Australia would make the postage more expensive than any token of my esteem. So, along with your best, you can also name the most ingenious way you'd kill or seriously maim a character if you had a story set in the 1830's. This means no technology allowed. No SAW recreations unless you could pull it off in the Australian Outback.

Difficult - yep. Your prize: I'll use the winner's suggested method to remove a major character within the book I'm writing, and give you credit for it if the thing ever gets published.

What do you think?

Have at it...


  1. I think one of the most gruesome ways to die I ever read came in a Thomas Harris book Hannibal (I think it was Hannibal, I know it wasn't Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs) when he has the pigs who have a taste for flesh. It was one of the most brilliant death sequences I have ever read, much more effective than the movie.

    Sorry, that is not very original, but it is the worst I can come up with. I will have to think about this throughout the day.

  2. I always like the stray cannonball...they can take off a head, a limb, a torso...again, not very original.

    Slow death is always good, too. Hanging the painful way (no snapped necks), crucifixion, letting the insects do it (buried near a hill of killer ants).

    I think Gary squeezing the heads of his little neighbors until they pop would rank among my favorite deaths in something I've written. A giant beetle did the same to a man in "A Plague from the Mud".

  3. Aaron cannon ball idea set mind evil little mind in motion and I remembered a Mythbusters show where they fired a heavy chain from a cannon at a pig (already dead of course). here is the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJOWKo0bkR4 Hope that gives you some ideas.

  4. I would tell you, but it's in my novel and I don't want to ruin the surprise ; ) Rest assured, it's delightful!

  5. I read a short story a little while back (don't ask for title and author - I'm terrible that way) about a flesh eating possessed sow at a boys school. Very cool.

    The cannon would be fun, but not many of them around in outback Australia. We didn't seem to have many civil wars, pirates or British Naval ships traveling down the Murray River ;c)

    As for slow - I've just impaled my MC's father on the handle end of an old fashioned plow which has been dragged upright (Muddy setting, plow point has hit a hidden tree stump, horse pulls thing upright) so he is now dangling from the thing way up in the air, allowing his life-blood to stain the the wood a glistening cherry-red. Wife and family in attendance and not overly impressed.

    Nat - I want to read your novel. Are you subbing to agents yet? When is it coming out?

    So it seems people are having difficulty. You are horror writers. Ordinarily people die in your stories - don't they?

    Surely people have come up with some amazing ways to snuff out a life force: Molten wax; rubber hoses; solidified honey; decapitation by deforestation chain? Anybody? No?

  6. I finally got to watch the chain from hell - very cool.

    Am now looking into how home made gun powder from natural ingredients can be made. I may just have to incorporate this into a story somewhere...very cool.

  7. Probably the most grusome way, but when writing my first attempt at my first novel, Hadeon, at the start of the novel the bloody antagonist killed off my MCs girlfriend.

    He bashed her and then dragged her down the stairs, smashing her body around.