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 Death of Heyes or the Kid

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Penski
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PostSubject: Death of Heyes or the Kid   Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:05 am

Death or Heyes or the Kid


A member asked some very thought provoking questions about stories where either Heyes or Kid die. She pointed out that most stories have Heyes die and Kid survives and she wondered why. I'm copying her post to here so the discussion can have its own area.

Is it difficult to kill one of them and leave a survivor? Do you have a favorite story about one of them dying and why do you like it?



Member nm131 wrote:

Reading the starter paragraph for the June Story Challenge, I thought one of the possible beginnings for this scenario would be Heyes'death (believe me I am not looking for this, quite the opposite! But if someone wrote it I would read it). I know that there are many other possiblities and I will enjoy reading everyone's different ideas which is one of the reasons I love reading the challenges. However, this lead to the idea of death fiction, towards the bottom of the list if not the bottom of my favorite genres. Although, there are some very well written stories regarding this subject ( "Hope and a Future" by Grace R. Williams and "The Promise of a Lifetime" by Rackuhn are examples). I notice all of the stories I have read where the permanent death of a partner occured it has been Heyes that has died. There were excellent story challenges where the partner was unidentified (A Locked Door" by C.D. Roberts and "Bad Things Happen When We Separate" by Sister Grace). I wonder if that is because of Peter Duel's personal tragedy or due to some outgrowth of the the character's developement in ASJ fanfiction or series. Does Kid alone present, for some reason, better story material? Would Heyes cope with Kid's death without enough angst or difficulty to write a worthwhile story? Anyway, my question is has a story been written where Heyes is the surviving partner?

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From Eleanor:

I wrote one fic where both characters die by the end of the story.

I've only killed them off once, but I do agree that in the main, if one of them is killed off its generally Heyes and I think that is probably a psychological reflection, certainly on the part of Pete fans, of what happened to Pete in real life. But, in a lot of fics Heyes is often the victim of much injury/illness/emotional angst yet comes through to overcome in the end and I think that is probably a subconsious desire on the part of the author(s) to kind of re-write history and make Heyes/Pete survive in print what he didn't in real life. Its certainly the reason behind a lot of my own plotlines.

Contrary to other comments here, I find Heyes easier to write for than Kid because there are so many sides to his character, whereas, to me anyway, Kid is pretty much a one dimensional character - his main function being to watch Heyes' back and give him the space and freedom to plan and organise and use his academic intelligence to outhink his opponents.

In regards to nm31's comment about an "outgrowth" of Heyes' character in ASJ,I don't think there was an outgrowth of the character. Pete's own complex personality gave Heyes' character a very multi-layered personality - which Roger failed to recreate - and had he remained on the show I think he would have woven more intricacies into it as time went by, whereas Kid, by Ben's own admission, was pretty much the stoic, man-of-few-words type of character and for myself I find it hard to get 'inside' the character's head from a fic writing point of view. Of course, ones personal preference for either actor also has an impact on how they write their fics. Being a Pete/Heyes girl, I find it hard to keep attention on fics where Kid is the focus of the plot, as I'm sure Ben/Kid fans do when reading fics where Heyes is the focus of the plot.

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From Frankie:

I have to say, I find Heyes' character more difficult to write - Kid is a much more straight forward character, shows his emotions, reacts, where as most of Heyes is in his head, in his mind. Does that make sense? Kid is more a man of action, as we all know, and it's easier to describe someone doing something than to write about their thoughts - in my humble opinion!(And clearly illustrated in my last challenge! )

You've certainly got the old grey matter working a bit nm131.

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From Beejay:

When I started writing I found Heyes more difficult to write for only in the sense that I am not as quick witted as he is or as clever(sharp)in thinking up ideas. And I still have difficulty thinking up Hannibal Heyes plans (Max is real good at that). When I read Sandy and Jo's book (I think they wrote this in there), apparently Roy Huggins thought both men were equally intelligent, but the Kid was less sure about displaying his smarts(possibly because he is presented as having less education?). Anyway, for some reason,that made me less afraid to write for Heyes.

I write from the Kid's point of view a lot because I enjoy finding that depth in his character. I realized that while Heyes lets you know he is a 'genius' in the series, the Kid comes up with clever ideas too, and is perfectly capable of thinking things out like he does in 5th Victim. So it is fun to have Heyes work out something complicated and have Kid let the air out of Heyes' balloon (like in the series where Heyes works out which room someone is in by logic,and it is totally wrong).

I never thought of character death stories being a genre before, and because I like to write humor they aren't stories I would normally write(it's those challenges!). That said, I don't see why it would be more difficult to write a story where Heyes is the survivor(I mean one where the story is written from his point of view), but that is because I see them as both being perfectly capable of surviving without the other, sadder and lonelier, but fully able to go on.

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From nm131:
It was interesting reading your post since some of your thoughts mirror ones I have had. I have been toying with the idea of possibly testing the waters with a humble effort at a story challenge. The group assembled here seem to be helpful and tolerant. A main barrier, one of many, to actually moving from thinking about to doing it, is writing Heyes. I too, do not feel as clever or witty to come up with a Hannibal Heyes plan. I've had some ideas but then get bogged down in the details such as that could never really happen, how do they know this, or what was possible/not possible in the 1880's. I also have more of an intuitive way of thinking rather that a deductive logical or analytical mode that Heyes exhibits.

I must have read the same part of Jo and Sandy's book since I remember that Roy Huggins did not see Kid as intellectually lacking as I did not see him as stupid either. Heyes is a complex charater and has many facets, many are internal as others have pointed out but to me his characterization and the way Peter played him were mostly consistent in approach (other than the pilot which was a little more one dimensional) Kid on the other hand does seem more simple on the surface. However, as the series went on and Ben and Peter had more time to develop the characters within the writers constraints, Kid's depth is revealed. Heyes would not form as strong or as permenant bond with someone who could not keep up with him intellectually for long. Good friends,yes -see Kyle- but not my life depends upon and I choose to spend most of my life with you as a partner. I see Kid as making a choice to let Heyes lead but can and does take up the slack or depart from Heye's path when the need arises. Kid is also a man of paradoxes. The nonviolent gunfighter who supposedly has a hot temper but actually demonstrates an extrordinary amount of control in the use of his gun. A man who will help a person, especially a woman, in need at the drop of a hat but yet has a sizable selfish streak. He obviously has a moral code (at least socially) but yet is a thief and can easily be persuaded to act against it by Heyes' rationalizations. I digress a bit here, another reason why I don't write creatively - coherence of thoughts.

Anyway your explanations may prove helpful if I work up the courage to try.

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From Ghislaine:

All the comments posted so far have been really thought-provoking. I've enjoyed (if that's the right word--it may not be) reading them and have thought about them a lot. I agree with just about everything that's already been said, which is why I haven't jumped in before now. But there were a few comments I wanted to respond to, so here goes.

It's interesting that most people, those who commented here already anyway, seem to feel Heyes is more difficult to write. I felt the same way when I first started writing. But then, gradually, and I don't really know why, it became a lot easier to write Heyes and more difficult to write Kid. The only reason I can think why is because, as has been said, Kid is more on-the-surface--NOT that he is superficial or one-dimensional! though I agree for the most part with what you wrote, Eleanor--and Heyes is more a still-waters-run-deep kind of character, and for me, somehow, there are more options and alternatives when writing Heyes than there are for Kid. I had a real hard time writing Kid in my latest story (hopefully, only a temporary thing!). Like you, BJ and nm131, I do see them as equal partners and try to write them that way, though some of my stories tend to focus more on one man than the other.

BJ, you also wrote: "I see them as both being perfectly capable of surviving without the other, sadder and lonelier, but fully able to go on." I'm not so sure I agree with that. I think Kid would be kind of lost without Heyes. I think he'd survive, but maybe not for very long, and it'd be more like existing than really living, more like just going through the motions. I think Heyes steadies Kid and keeps him in check. Without Heyes, I could easily see him doing something rash and stupid, without thinking through the consequences. OTOH, if Heyes were the survivor, I think he would be able to better manage it. He wouldn't be happy, but, being a gregarious type of person who needs to be around people--even though he doesn't open up completely--I think he'd be able to find some semblance of normality, though probably not happiness.

I can't say that I actually enjoy stories where one of the boys dies, but I like them for the depth of emotion they create and for the way they explore the characters' psyches. All of the "death fics" that I've read have stayed with me for a long while, longer than many other stories have. In terms of a favorite story, "Retribution" by Eleanor! It's so rich and the characters so well-developed, but also very sad. I actually cried at the end, and I rarely do that.

If a writer wants to cause an emotional reaction in her readers, then certainly a story in this genre is one way to achieve that.

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From Eleanor:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ghislaine

BJ, you also wrote: "I see them as both being perfectly capable of surviving without the other, sadder and lonelier, but fully able to go on." I'm not so sure I agree with that. I think Kid would be kind of lost without Heyes. I think he'd survive, but maybe not for very long, and it'd be more like existing than really living, more like just going through the motions. I think Heyes steadies Kid and keeps him in check. Without Heyes, I could easily see him doing something rash and stupid, without thinking through the consequences. OTOH, if Heyes were the survivor, I think he would be able to better manage it. He wouldn't be happy, but, being a gregarious type of person who needs to be around people--even though he doesn't open up completely--I think he'd be able to find some semblance of normality, though probably not happiness.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I find your comment interesting, Ghislaine, because I actually think the opposite. I think Heyes can only be the person he is because of his 100% trust in Kid, who watches his back and protects him, thereby giving him the space and freedom to concentrate his mind on the things Kid knows he's good at - talking, planning and organising - which benefit them both. I kind of see Kid as the "wind beneath Heyes' wings", equal to Heyes in his own respect, but content to let him take the lead more often than not, and while Heyes might survive Kid's death, I think he would be greatly changed, maybe become introvert, bitter and cynical, depending on the circumstances, maybe even finally commit murder to take his revenge if he believed Kid was unjustly killed

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From Penski:

SPOILER ALERT for June 2009 Story Challenge

I finally read Truth Be Known by Vivian Darkbloom. The story from Vivian was sad and, in my opinion, realistic. I can see Heyes being guilt-ridden and living in a saloon waiting for death and reuniting with the Kid.

I can't even imagine the angst Heyes would have been going through in BJ's challenge story. Personally, I don't think Heyes would have survived long with the depression and guilt eating away at him if Kid died like in BJ's story.

Again, in my opinion, Kid would be able to settle down better and live a "normal" life than Heyes (hmmm...where did the idea come from that Kid wants the family and Heyes could take it or leave it?). Kid would never be complete without Heyes, but could survive. I agree whole heartedly with Eleanor that Kid is the "wind beneath Heyes' wings". Heyes is a thinker and therefore would dwell on the what ifs. Kid is a doer and would either move on or, perish the thought, do something stupid.

Stories that deal with a death of either Heyes or Kid take my breath away. I feel like I was punched in the stomach and usually have a difficult time letting go of those stories as I grieve for the survivor. And yet I continue to read them.

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From Eleanor:

I forgot to add, in my last post, that if it was Heyes who died and Kid was left behind, I don't think it would be too long before he lost his restraint and used his talent with a gun for the wrong reasons, maybe with the deliberate intent of being caught because he didn't want to carry on with life the way it was without him.

Oh, and thanks, Ghislaine, for your comment on my fic

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From Ghislaine:

I do think that Kid grounds Heyes and keeps him in touch with reality. Kid is more practical than Heyes.

I can see how Heyes would withdraw inside himself if Kid died. I read Vivian Darkbloom's story last night and I also think it portrayed a realistic scenario of what might happen. I can now see it both ways: Heyes might be better able to survive the loss of Kid, but perhaps Kid, being less prone to analyzing himself or thinking as deeply about things as Heyes, might be better able to go on if Heyes died.

Penski, you asked where the idea originated that Kid wanted a family and Heyes wasn't as interested. I think, and I'm just guessing, that it probably comes from the idea that in the show, Kid was the one who dealt with children (Wickenburg and Hadleyburg) and young women (Boxcar and Apache Springs) more/better than Heyes did. So maybe people extrapolated from those episodes that he was more interested in having a family.

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From Eleanor:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ghislaine

Penski, you asked where the idea originated that Kid wanted a family and Heyes wasn't as interested. I think, and I'm just guessing, that it probably comes from the idea that in the show, Kid was the one who dealt with children (Wickenburg and Hadleyburg) and young women (Boxcar and Apache Springs) more/better than Heyes did. So maybe people extrapolated from those episodes that he was more interested in having a family.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think also the way both actors portrayed their characters lends a bit of a suggestion in this area. Heyes always appeared to be restless, unable to settle, maybe in part due to Pete's own personality, but, to me anyway, Heyes' character always seems to have a touch of wanderlust, always wanting to discover what was over the next horizon, and as such would probably have found it difficult to settle down with one person in one place, whereas I often sense a kind of reluctance, on Kid's part, to be on the move yet again, it often seems like but for Heyes pulling him along he would stay put and be quite happy just lazing around in one town enjoying the company of the ladies and plenty of good food LOL. So maybe thats where a lot of fanfic writers get the idea that Kid wanted to settle down and Heyes didn't. Interesting that, in contrast, in real life Pete had spoken about wanting, at some point, to be married and have children, and yet Ben, after a very brief marriage, is still living the bachelor lifestyle.

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From Talma:

This is a tough one as I hate death fics. I read one (I can't remember the title and it was beautifully written but I didn't see it coming and it really shook me) but I'm a wimp and find it harrowing enough when one thinks the other is dead when they're not.

If it had to happen then ideally they'd go out together in a blaze of glory or at least like Butch & Sundance, but otherwise there are really only 4 ways it could happen.

Being deliberately killed, for the reward or not; I don't know why Kid worries about someone faster out there as unless they're dense or macho enough to force a showdown, anyone sensible would just shoot one or both of them from ambush or some other sneaky way.

No-one can guard against accident or illness, and there were an awful lot of illnesses that could finish you off let alone something simple like falling off your horse. That leaves old age, and my problem is whereas I can easily imagine Kid growing older living quietly with a family, I just can't see Heyes as an old man. I don't think that's because of Pete, but for some reason I can't picture it. Post amnesty I can imagine him enjoying the fame for a short time then once he knows Kid has someone else to look after him (whoever she is) he flits in and out of their lives doing whatever it is he wants to but not settling down, or at least not for some time.

If one had to go first I think Kid is better equipped to be the survivor, mainly as he seems to be more grounded and more accepting of fate as opposed to Heyes who tries to defy it, especially with his plans, some of which should never work but do (mostly).

One thing that occurred is if one of them is more a man of his time than the other; they wanted amnesty because the West, which is all they know, is becoming civilised and the time of the outlaw is coming to an end, but would they be able to adapt enough to go forward into the 20th century or be looked at as a relic of the 'old days'? If one died in the 1880s or 90s he'd always be a legend but there'll be a time when everyone else will have moved on. Heyes gives the impression of being able to cope with anything but Kid looks forward to a time when the boy in Wickenburg won't have to carry a gun like he does...

...and having decided I don't know where I'm going with that and it may be rubbish anyway, and it's late, I'm off

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From 1kc:

I prefer stories where one is ill or almost dies. I find it interesting to see how the other handles the situation

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From Caroline McK

I have read several "death fics" and most of them have deepened the characters a little bit for me. I enjoy reading about the bonds of friendship and how far they will stretch. I guess, maybe, that death gives more depth/layers to the characters by how well they are allowed to work through the trauma.

I enjoy reading a fluff piece, but by and large prefer a story with more than a quick chuckle.

I have to say that I cry very easily when a story is so well written that I can get lost in it, even when I know that the characters are fictional(GASP Did I really say that the boys are FICTION???) .

I must admit that I am a Curryette, but most of the time prefer to write from Heyes' view. I have written bits and pieces of stories in which one or the other has died, And I found it was easier for me to write from the heart and tried to immerse myself as much as I dared to achieve the level of emotions that I wanted.

The absolute best story I have ever read in the death category killed both of them. It was how the surviving characters reacted and dealt with the loss that truly captivated me. I cried the first time I read it, and every time since.

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From Ghislaine Emrys

So what story was that, Caroline???? You gotta tell us which was your favorite!

(Also, Welcome Back!)

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From Caroline McK

It was called Happy Birthday and was written by Dorothy. Please don't ask me how to find it - it's been a long, long time (SIGH).

And thanks for the welcome. It feels good to be with friends again

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From AllegraW

Hi there - I got nosey and looked up where to find that story - It's on Fanfiction.net and it's story no. 109 on my page but I'm not sure whether everyone gets the same page I do - I get some German stories too when I go there. It was published on 15 April 2006 - maybe it's easier to look it up by the date.

I remembered it once I'd started reading it again. It's a good story.

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From Caroline McK

Many thanks AllegraW. I couldn't remember where to begin to find it.

Has anyone else read it? Just curious if anyone else felt anything...
or if maybe it was just me.

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From Caroline McK

Just a quick note -- for those who are willing to give two other really good stories a try...

Sacrifice by Rackuhn
and Promise of a Lifetime by Rackuhn

Both of them are on fan fiction.net
(I looked them up and they're there)

please be aware that the first one has a twist. it deals with second chances and heavenly intervention.
the second one is long but beautifully written. it has a ghost character.

I know that some have strong feelings on these subjects, that's why i added the general ideas of the stories. You don't have to betray yourself to read them, just accept them as fanfic from another author's world (Not mine).

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PostSubject: Re: Death of Heyes or the Kid   Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:56 pm

I've read a few death fics, but the one that sticks out in my mind is Strangeness on a Train by Miss Calico. I myself have written only one fic Heyes is on Death's doorstep, but to be honest I haven't the heart to kill one or both of them off, however in one of my recently published stories I had Heyes acting the part of a guardian spirit guiding his granddaughter to find out the truth about his death.

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