1. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    A Darker MC

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by tristan.n, Feb 10, 2012.

    Hello, all! :)
    Okay, I need help with tweaking my main character. At first I thought I'd make her a typical strong female character; you know, someone who is kind but doesn't take crap from anyone, she's charming and sweet but not afraid to be sarcastic or in your face, blah blah blah.

    Quite frankly, this is boring to me. In my story, she was created in a lab along with several other kids as test subjects for all these horrible experiments. Since she was "created," not born, many of the researchers (and people in general) don't consider her a true human being and think of her and the other kids as equal to lab mice, disposable.

    She was released from the lab because she was one of the few kids whose behavior was too unstable to continue the tests. In the original plot, I had the scientists try to forcibly repress her memories and the story started out with her being adopted and barely knowing who she was, but I think I'd rather have her outsmart the scientists and remember everything clearly.

    So to get to the point, with all of the scars from her childhood, instead of being that courageous yet loving female character that she started off as, I'm thinking about making her kind of bipolar in a way. Certain little things piss her off way more than they do normal people, like people staring at her or being pressured into doing something she doesn't want to, even little insignificant things. She's very protective of the people and things that are important to her, but only she knows what they are. She could treat someone like shit but still care deeply for them. On the flip side, when she's at her best she makes people feel at ease and can even be funny if the mood strikes her. She gets a little motherly and bossy at times, and can take her responsibilities as a friend too far by being too helpful (you can't ever vent about anything or she'll find the person who wronged you and kick their ass with or without your consent). People who know her best know not to be afraid when she's pissed off, but they also know to leave her alone until she cools down. They also know not to tell her she's doing anything wrong in her life or that she should better herself or anything like that.

    Later on in the story she has to take care of a girl who is a complete wimp and very non-confrontational, but who finds strength in compassion and understanding people. The main character doesn't turn into a peaceful loving hippie or anything, but she does learn to respect people and control her temper.

    So yes, the main character is kind of a beyotch. Is it too cheesy to make her this way, given what's happened to her in her childhood? It might be good to mention that she has a rough life after her days in the lab, too.
     
  2. Snap228
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    Snap228 Member

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    On the contrary, I think it would be unrealistic to make her the person she first started out as. She almost has to have some significant flaws after what you're putting her through. In fact, I think she should be unlikeable in some ways, because it would be more believable.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I agree. The "V for Vendetta" approach is far more interesting than the typical strong heroine approach. I'd just be careful to really flesh out her flaws so that she DOES have real, actual flaws - not just good traits that are too extreme. For example, if all she does is hunt down people who give her friends shit, and act too bossy with people because she cares about them, that kind of borders on Mary Sue-ish -- and even if readers think she goes too far, they can still relate at the root of where she's coming from. If you're going to make her dark, you should give her a truly warped thought process or two. I'm not saying make her a monster, but I also don't think that what you've described is very "dark."
     
  4. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    I don't want her to be this super dark person or anything, just troubled and a little awkward I guess, and I want to avoid Mary Sue! haha
    I think as I rewrite her, more flaws will come up. I'd think someone in her situation would have a serious problem with grudges, and probably has very different personal boundaries than other people, that sort of thing.
    Thanks to both of you for the input! :)
     
  5. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    Caution: You ever seen Dark Angel.....
     
  6. Toph Bei Fong
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    Toph Bei Fong New Member

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    Sounds interesting. I would avoid calling her "bipolar" though. The way you described her she's not bipolar she's just very guarded. Has trust issues, socially awkward, etc.

    I think my suggestion would be not to attempt first person here. It might be hard to really write from this perspective unless you've been through something similar. Whereas if you write in the third person she becomes mysterious and interesting.
     
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  7. Cole
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    Cole New Member

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    It's a good concept to go with depending on how you flesh her out. Like Mallory said, you don't want her to become a Mary Sue-ish character who always trounces the villian when it's Hammer Time. Also, I like the idea that she's undergoing a process of "inner" transformation whilst helping others improve on themselves.
     
  8. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    No, I've never seen Dark Angel. Is it similar?

    Third person is definitely a good idea. As a very happy, peaceful person, writing in first would probably not be a great idea. lol

    I think I'll definitely have fun with this character. At first I want her to seem more like the villain, with twisted morals and little regard for anyone but herself, with a gradual and sometimes reluctant change. It doesn't really matter what I want to happen, however. Usually once I start writing, my characters give me the finger and write themselves, so we'll see!
    :)
     

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