?

Which of these characters do you find the most interesting?

  1. Fascist

  2. Frankenstein

  3. Monster

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521

    A Fascist, a Frankenstein, and The Monster

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by zoupskim, Apr 19, 2016.

    Hello!

    These are my three main characters and their arcs for my current WIP. Please deconstruct, pick apart, and generally make fun them. Point out any problems you see with them, or anything I can improve. Give me your impressions.

    Feel free to pick at the sci-fi concepts to. Sorry if the tech is a bit vague, but I don't want to bog you down in techno-babble.

    The Fascist: A lower ranking military leader defending his country. He grew up believing in the superiority of his own people and country, and believes the invaders must be stopped and his people protected. He believes in the conscription of his own people to fight for these ideas, and even turns a blind eye to some questionable rumors he hears of his Allies recruitment and training methods.

    He always has doubts, though. He is unwilling to push his men as far as his superiors demand, and tries to protect allied soldiers when he suspects that the rumors are true. These doubts grow into outright rejection of his beliefs and disobedience of orders when the darker side of his country is revealed. His doubts only grow, except now he fears he has become a traitor, and a failure as a soldier. In the end he accepts that he will be remembered as a traitor, even if he knows he did the right thing.

    Frankenstein: An expert soldier responsible for leveraging the technological edge his country holds over their enemy. He believes in his country without fault, completely dedicated to the extreme ideals of his nation and the lengths required to achieve victory. He monitors as much information he can, about the enemy, about his allies, and about the battle, always seeking an edge. This awareness of the battlefield is used to allow the army to engage enemies instantly, and combined with modern weaponry means almost instant destruction of any enemy, as long as he can 'see' them first.

    When one of the 'brainwashed' soldiers ends up with his squad, he sees an opportunity. The capture and brainwashing of these conscripts leaves a mostly blank slate, a white piece of paper to scribble on. Using his knowledge, he fills in the blanks. She was left dumb by design, a brute to be driven and controlled. He elevates her, gives her tools and training. Soon, she can see the battlefield the way he does, rivaling him in the speed she can assess hundreds of pieces of information and choose the course for victory. He leaves satisfied, having made her stronger than ever, and more dangerous than she should have been.

    The Monster: A slave forced to fight for a cause she does not understand, lied to and driven to fight an enemy she cannot see. She was trained to hold a weapon and kill the enemy, but does not know why. She thinks these men in uniform could be her friends, but feels the urge to kill them when they are close to her. Her 'handlers' tell her she is doing a good job. Just one more battle. One more push. She knows she has a past, and will get it back if she does well in the fight, but only if she can survive the war and the invaders.

    Slowly, she realizes she has been tricked into fighting against her rescuers, programmed into a literal addiction for murder by her nation, and ruined further by this strange soldier intent on teaching her to kill even better at the cost of her hope of regaining her memories. She has been warped to perceive the battlefield as a strange mix of sensation and data. She can reach out and kill someone with a though, and she wants to, but she has to stop. She has to quit, or she will always just be a gun without a safety. She fails in the end, only managing to turn her addiction and 'skills' into a tool to murder her captors. Maybe she'll save some innocent people, but that is just a bonus. She does not change what she does, she just changes who she does it to.
     
  2. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    Location:
    Australia
    Hmm. There's not a very clear concept of the world and plot. I can't analyse these characters fully without understand more about the world and plot details you mention. I'll say that they're interesting concepts, but they could easily end up boring. it really depends on how well you do them. But the only thing I can really give you in particular is that "the frankenstein" seems a bit unresolved. Where does he go? What does it mean? Now, I don't know exactly how it ends so it could be conclusive, but it sounds from your description like there's no character development or change of status and that feels a little boring. At least leave us with something that feels like something happened. But again, I don't know.
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  3. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,694
    Likes Received:
    1,244
    I certainly love tragic villains like your Monster - people who want to do the right thing, but who are broken by the world around them and who give up on trying to make themselves better - but even more than that I love people who keep trying to be better than the world around them.

    I'm voting for the Fascist. I am not sorry ;-)
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  4. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    Location:
    Australia
    I feel like the Fascist could turn into a relatively boring redemption story while as the monster sounds more unique because they fail to be redeemed. The frankenstein just seems unexplored. I don't know who he is really. I just know he's some fundamentalist millitary guy who's a bit sciency. Woo. Such a developed character.
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  5. Feo Takahari
    Offline

    Feo Takahari Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    Just above the treetops
    The Fascist and the Monster seem like they cover the same ground. One's a literal depiction of what's figuratively called brainwashing, and the other's a metaphor who's been literally brainwashed. I'd favor the Monster out of the two, since it's more immediately obvious how she's being abused and exploited.

    As for the Frankenstein, it seems like they're missing a conflict. They want to do something, and then they do it.
     
    zoupskim and Oscar Leigh like this.
  6. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    Thanks for the reply, and all the likes.

    My current outline has him get removed from the overall plot about halfway through, with short scenes of him in the background to show 'behind the scenes' setting development. Now, he is a major POV for about half the story, but fades to a sort of background character for the last half. He has no character change at this point, and serves as the only personal antagonist for the monster, as the primary one is just a nebulous enemy force.

    I was thinking of having him be one of the enemy who hunts the monster down, but I feel that is a little too on the nose and cliche'. What do you think?
     
  7. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't see why he can't hunt the monster. If he created her, and he's a military guy, why wouldn't they bring him in? He's a natural include for any operation to deal with her because he knows how she works and can counteract her abilities. He would maybe be offended by her betrayal anyway, so he would want to do it.
     
    zoupskim and Feo Takahari like this.
  8. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    Fascist is the squad's leader, Frankenstein is a team leader/platoon specialist attached to the squad, and the Monster is a replacement/experimental soldier. The Fascist and Frankenstein don't get along because the latter is all right with just throwing people away. The Fascist hates the Monster because she is 'lesser', but also because she represents what he really believes in. When he realizes he is wrong, he tries his best to help her be peaceful. The Monster likes Frankenstein at first because he helps her a lot, but grows to hate him as she sees what he is making her.
     
  9. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,417
    Likes Received:
    1,978
    Location:
    Australia
    I still don't feel like I really understand the frankenstein's character. What are the beliefs of this regime? How does he relate to them? What is his background? What are his basic mannerisms and feelings?
     
    zoupskim likes this.
  10. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    I'm glad you picked that up, because that's what I was trying to do! Horray!
     
  11. zoupskim
    Offline

    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    521
    I see your point, and looking back and literally reading back over the character a little, he has no real personality. He's simply a foil to the Fascist character, a hardliner who dose not change. From a worldbuilding standpoint, he shows the reader what the monster COULD be, if he can turn her into it.

    Not to pull a bunch of secondary characters into this, but the when the Frankenstein leaves he is replaced by a secondary character who(spoiler) was doing the same thing the Frankenstein was, but in a subversive, secretive way. This Frank2 is who hunts the Monster down, as her job is literally to monitor the Monsters for this sort of thing.
     

Share This Page