How Many Deaths are Too Many?

So I’m currently starting up a story (THAT I WILL FINISH I AM DETERMINED). It’s kind of a thriller, so of course deaths are going to be involved. It takes place in high school (cliché I know, but college wouldn’t make sense with the plot). One death will happen no matter what, while two deaths may or may not occur depending on the reader’s choices. So if the reader does well, only one student would had died. I was thinking of adding one more dependable death just to add more “edge of your seat” components and to not make the story feel too easy.

But would 3 or 4 deaths (if the reader lost everyone) be too many? If that happened in high school I feel like it would affect the student body, whereas if it was just one or two students, the school would just be sad or a little shaken, not scared there’s a serial killer on the loose.

Hopefully this all makes sense! Thanks for the help!

I think 3 is a good amount? Kind of a good middle spot

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Three or four deaths isn’t to many at all in thrillers!
Just look at the Scream franchise, or other slasher triller movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, or even the Final Destination franchise. If it was drama or romance, I’d say one death would be plenty. But a thrillers? It would be strange if you didn’t have one of your endings being a final girl scenario!!
And bonus points to you if the town actually takes action when several of their high schoolers get killed. Most movies just brush over it…no one believes the hysterical main character trying to get help…and the parents are super useless. In real life, people would def take notice, especially the student body.

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I’m going to say, put as many deaths as you want. I feel like more than 4 raises the stakes, so it’s easier to make the characters afraid

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I say around 3-4. Anything over that and I think it’s too many, well atleast if it’s the main characters, feel free to kill any backgrounds. Anyways, with each death, it’s easier to build up a suspenseful atmosphere, like the readers would be anticipating for the killer to strike again, but they come at the most unsuspecting moment. Puts the readers at the edge of their seats :wink:

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You can put as many as ya want. but it would be cool if you showed/incorporated how the deaths affected the student body.

I was comteplating almost the same thing for my story. based on the readers choice they could end up killing all the main MCs(there’s only 5) and “lose” but I was wondering if it’s too soon to give the option of death in the first episode. but after reading over my story line I found it was impossible to do it any other way. so I stuck with it. I was also wondering how their deaths would not only affect the story line but also the “community” they are in (since all the MCs affect the community in some important way)


IDK that kind of sounds really awesome - if they ‘lose’, you could have an option that brings them back to the beginning of the episode so they can replay it until they ‘win’.
If they are able to survive the first episode, they get a code word to start the second and progress.
It would be like a high stakes thriller…but the branching would probably be insane, lol.

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