1. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    A sad past?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by R-e-n-n-a-t, Dec 20, 2010.

    I want one of my two mc's to have a sad, forlorn past. One mc has been forced to kill normal people who attack her under strained circumstances. Over 2 or 3 years she's killed several 'innocent' people who believe she is evil. She even contemplates letting herself die because she doesn't want to hurt anyone else. The problem is I'm not sure if this is too extreme. I want her to recover and let herself be happy after a while, but I'm not certain if that's realistic. Thoughts?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Write it. If you write it well, great. If not, write it better.

    It's amazing how many questions get asked in this forum that are basically "Here's my idea. Is it good?"

    We can't tell you if it's good. You will make it good or not by writing it well (or not).

    EVERYBODY!! Stop asking us if your ideas are good! Instead, WRITE them, and amaze us all!

    :)
     
  3. AnonyMouse
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    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe it was more a question of execution. He's not asking "is my idea good?" He's asking, "what might be a good way to execute this idea?" Still, I agree with you, minstrel. Lots of people come here to ask questions they would be better off asking themselves, or, in this case, would be better off asking their character. I usually reply to such questions by saying "first, you should ask yourself..." ;)

    First, you should ask yourself why she's sad. From what I can gather here, it seems as if she's sad because she has repeatedly killed 'innocent' people. Therefore, her sadness is most likely the result of guilt. Does she feel guilty for killing them or guilty for not being killed herself? It seems like a little of both. The only way she's going to be happy is if she somehow resolves these two issues. The former could be resolved by proving (to herself, at least,) that the 'innocent' people weren't so innocent after all. The latter can be resolved by improving her self worth, such that she begins to feel she has a right to live -- a right she will not allow anyone, innocent or otherwise, to violate. And that's just two suggestions. There are many ways to resolve this, if it can be resolved.

    In brief, the key to her happiness is the elimination of her sadness, by one means or another. If the memories of past wrongdoings are making her sad, the solution is to (a) forget them, (b) redefine them, such that they aren't 'wrong' anymore, or (c) atone for them. I think the key to figuring this out is to get in your character's head, figure out her moral code, and see just what was so wrong about those killings and what it will take to make it right. But also bear in mind that not everything can be made right; if she believes the transgression is too grave to be forgotten, justified, or atoned for, then happiness may be out of the question for her.
     
  4. Monanniverse
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    Monanniverse Member

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    I believe that if you can spice it up and not make it feel like you just ripped it right out of a action movie, then you are doing good.
     
  5. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    Not that old trope again.
     
  6. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Perhaps, Monanniverse, you don't realize the context. It's not action-movie-like at all. More of a fantasy/medieval setting, playing off of people's distrust of anything different. Anonymouse has helped the most so far. The issue is guilt for having killed people, and for existing in the first place, by the way. 'Innocent' is in quotes, because they did find her with intent to kill or injure. The reason why it's not black and white self-defense is because they were arguably justified in wanting her dead, and she knows it.

    EDIT:
    Ah! Sorry Monanniverse, I think I just realized what you were saying. This isn't even close to the whole plot; this is just a moral conflict established within the plot. I was just asking if it seems realistic for one of the MCs to mentally recover from this.
     

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