E is for Elimination

I love Battle Royale. I love the idea behind it, and I love it when I see it in any form of media.

For those that don’t have a clue what I’m on about (and this post shall remain as spoiler-free as possible), by Elimination I mean the main focus of the story is for the protagonist (or another main character) to survive and out-live the rest of the cast. This normally means every other “competitor” has to die. Of course, there’s normally higher characters/powers at work but it boils down to a struggle for survival. This concept has been done in video games many, many, many times but it’s different in a novel. In a video game, you can just respawn and keep going with only a point loss. A novel is a story and nowadays authors are less willing to stick to the “no protagonists die” rule. This is especially important to remember when it comes to people they care about as well – even if the story won’t allow for the protagonist’s death, his loved ones are on the firing range regularly to keep things interesting. They may just be an extremely likeable character that’s not trying to kill them.

One thing that Elimination is very good at doing is making the villains hateable. Be it the powers in control of the situation (who are often seldom seen) or even a competitor that enjoys taking the Elimination competition too far. They’ll threaten the protagonist you love many times, and they help to make the story more interesting.

With the Hunger Games rising in popularity since the film’s release, this genre is most likely going to keep growing. Be prepared for it.



Filed under Craig

3 responses to “E is for Elimination

  1. I think the problem with novels such as The Hunger Games (as much as I like it, and I do), is when the threat of the first book is that the character may die in the aformentioned Hunger Games, you should be worried about her, but then when you know there’s two more books about the same character, you aren’t worried.

    Also, I hate to think The Hunger Games is spawning copycat (sort of) novels, as happened with Twilight, but it’s going to happen. One think takes off and then there’s hundreds of plots vaugely similar!


    • Underwood Lynch

      That’s a very good point – the knowledge of a sequel’s existence (including blurbs) can do nasty things to this genre.

  2. Pingback: Z is for Zzz | Four Words, Four Worlds

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