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Poll: Which Is More Dramatic First?
Guy gets into car wreck, then is shot.
--- 2 (25%)
Girl realizes other person is gone. --- 6 (75%)

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Author: Subject: Which Is More Dramatic First?
Mad Red Queen
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[*] posted on 7-5-2008 at 09:13 PM
Which Is More Dramatic First?


Okay, I'm stuck- I'll put both in, but I don't know which to do first. Here's some background:

The male character is in the passenger's seat (he's a sexist jerk- important to the plot, I think) and the female is the driver's. They get into a fight, and end up driving off of the highway at a VERY high speed into a bunch of rocks. She's knocked out- looks like she's dead- unless you check her pulse. The guy wakes up first from the wreck, gets out of the car, freaks out because she LOOKS dead, and they're in the middle of the New Mexico desert. He's more freaked out because he's in the middle of nowhere than the fact that the woman's dead. Oh, did I mention that I'm writing a "The Hills Have Eyes" fanfic?

Well, he wanders up the road alone for a while- then comes across the gas station. Okay, with a small amount of spoilers, he gets killed (of course), and the cliff hanger is the mutant (Papa Jupiter, for anybody who's seen the movie) who killed him revealing that they (the mutants) had seen them driving into the desert, and had planned on getting them off the road one way or another to kill them. Go figure that they (the people in the car) just made it easier for them to kill them. XD So, they know where the woman driver who's blacked out is- and it is assumed that they are about to go get her.

NOW-

The woman wakes up, not long before, chronogically, the jerk gets killed in the gas station- and realizes she's alone. Where did the other person in the car go? (Either way, this is where I end the chapter- and in the next chapter either have her confront the murderous mutants, or do the old flashback/switch of POV to the guy in the gas station getting killed)

So, my question- which sounds better happening first in the course of the story? I just can't decide!




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[*] posted on 7-6-2008 at 08:03 AM


Realising the other guy's gone - cliffhanger. You wouldn't necessarily know what had happened to him. And then him getting shot might be a little more unexpected. That's my opinion anyway...



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[*] posted on 7-6-2008 at 08:07 AM


Thanks- I thionk I'll go with that. Also, for some reason, it sorta remindes me of a Siren/Silent Hill-type of cliff-hanger. Thanks!



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[*] posted on 7-6-2008 at 11:20 AM


I agree with Sobriquet. That would work better, I think. :)



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[*] posted on 7-6-2008 at 06:42 PM


The guy being missing is definitely more interesting, I think. I find that when it comes to horror, authors should always strive to create as much terror as possible with minimal effects. And just being stuck alone in a desert is freaky enough on its own, if you write it right.
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[*] posted on 7-6-2008 at 06:51 PM


BTW, one of the reasons for scaring with as little stuff as possible is that you'll need to consistently come up with bigger guns to hike up tension. If you pull out big guns too fast, you might run short on steam mid-way through your story.

Good horror has tension that continually builds up with ever giving the audience a break. A lot of horror movies make the mistake of of creating intense spikes of tension, only to let them drop shortly afterwards (big SCARE, then give the audience a break, BIG scare, then give the audience a break, etc.), which ruins the crescendo effect that you want.
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