1. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    Anti-bullying vigilante.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by PMelol, Aug 4, 2013.

    So I think I came up with an early version of this idea a while ago. I was bullied by Christians at one point in time, and I started to write a short story about a superhero named Captain Cynical who came to a church identical to the one I was bullied at and pointed out to the people all of their hypocrisies. Anyway, I'm thinking of using that name for this character, who I'm planning on making somewhere around my age (I'm 20, he'll probably be 21/22). Towards the end of high school, he defends a gay kid being bullied because of his orientation (I figured that would get bonus points since that sort of thing is a big issue at the moment) and decides to become a superhero (with a costume and all) and fight bullies. However, there is a dark side to it (because dark stories are cool!). Occasionally he murders bullies instead of simply beating the crap out of them. I'm not sure yet if he loses control of himself or wants to murder the people. I think I know that he doesn't really care too much. He may acknowledge that murdering people is wrong. So this character will have a very interesting psychology. He thinks stopping bullying is right, but sometimes he murders the bullies. I think that would make him an anti-villain (a character whose motives are good, but who does bad things to accomplish his/her goals).

    I haven't got too much beyond that. I'm thinking that there will probably be a supervillain to his superhero. Ultimately the piece will be a sort of dark comedy (in what I have written so far, in which the protagonist is retelling the past, there is a lot of sarcasm, poking fun at society, and there will be black humor I suppose) and a satire of society.
     
  2. NeonFraction
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    NeonFraction Member

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    Even as someone who is pro-gay marriage, killing someone because they disagree with you doesn't make someone a hero. It doesn't even make them an anti-hero. Usually bullies have to take it way past too far (like attempted murder or really brutal beatings) before you can get any sympathy for the hero for killing them.
    There's a danger in this sort of story, where you base a story on your own life. For one, there's a tendency to over romanticize the main character and be afraid of adding flaws to them, as it's a self-insert. and who wants to write themselves as a flawed character?
    In this sort of story where you have a lot of emotional investment in hating the villains, it also makes the villains boring. Villains with no depth, motivation beyond being homophobics and evil will not make an interesting or even realistic story.
    Unless this story is handled in a sensitive manner, I don't think it will work. This seems more like a revenge fantasy than a real story. Bias and hate is a sad part of our society, but I don't think someone going around killing homophobes who were probably raised that way and believe they're doing the right thing is really going to get people's support. Bullying is awful, but most bullies don't deserve to be murdered and most homophobes are certainly not bad enough people to kill and be praised for doing it.
     
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  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    NeonFraction is totally right on this, in my opinion.

    Might be a better idea to slant this story in a different way. Leaving Captain Cynical behind for a moment ( or forever) it might be more enlightening to show the internal thoughts of the persons who did the bullying instead. Not only will that expose them as hypocrites (let your reader audience make up their own minds about this) but it will also expose WHY bullies act as they do.

    Maybe open with the bullying incident, told from the POV of the victim. Then re-tell it from the POV of the perpetrators. Presumably they are all different people, so they will all have differing reasons for doing this.

    See where I'm going here?

    You can finish up with your original victim then doing something nobody, including the bullies, expects—something that brings the entire incident to some kind of conclusion.

    I've always said that if something bothers you in your own life, badly enough to make you need to write about it, the key to this becoming a theraputic exercise is to CHANGE it. Obviously killing people who bully you is not really the way forward here, however momentarily satisfying that might be. Put the power back into the hand of the victim instead. Have them take charge, develop understanding, backbone and confidence. The story can become not only theraputic, but also inspirational.
     
  4. 7thMidget
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    7thMidget Member

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    I don't know what we are supposed to comment. Anyway...

    At that age, why is he still in high school or wandering around them? Why does he go to such lengths to fight bullying, if he's not even the one being attacked? How is he so cynical and so empathetic at the same time? He becomes a superhero... does he actually develop special abilities (which? how?) or does he remain a normal guy, but with fancier clothes, fancier name and a bigger ego? Does he have any helpers? Is he a visible, publicly known superhero or one that works in secret? What is he currently doing in his life and how can he manage to go through his ordinary life while also fighting bullying on the side? The relevant authorities (police, school administrators, his family, the families of the bullied and of the bullies...), are they appreciative of his efforts or wary of them? How big is the bullying issue and does he stick to high schools or does he also fight bullying in other schools and colleges? Yes, what about the bullies themselves?

    I'm not asking you those questions. These are just examples of questions I would ask myself if I were you and wanted to develop this story. I don't even know if all of it makes sense, since I'm writing at 5 am. The point is, if you want to move forward, you have a lot to think about. And then, you'll have a lot to write. And, regardless of how creative the plot may be, the writing will have to make it justice or all the brainstorming in the world won't matter. Usually, people here say that it's not just what you write, but how you write it, so keep it in mind. And this is my attempt at an answer to your non-question, haha.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This is the first thought I had. I suppose it is possible if he got held back for a few years.

    So is this character a psychopath? He thinks killing is wrong but does it anyway. Is killing a need for this guy?
     
  6. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    You're not necessarily supposed to sympathize with the character. Think A Clockwork Orange. Are you supposed to sympathize with Alex? I don't think so. You can have a main character who is nuts. Here, however, things are a little more complicated since the ideal of stopping bullying is a good one. He just takes things too far. He is not still in high school, but I suppose he has younger friends who are and he combats bullying in other venues. He isn't based on me, either. He is to a very loose extent, in the way that any main character probably has some traits of the author.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with you. I was merely asking out of curiosity.
     
  8. Voltaire
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    Voltaire Member

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    You could model him off a young Friedrich Nietzsche, for some reason that kind of character reminds me a lot about him.

    Railing against the injustice & ignorance of the world around him in a mocking fashion (he was highly critical of Christianity and its doctrines of weakness) and attempting to have people free themselves from bondage, in order to start their journey towards the Ubermensch.

    Those are my first thoughts for the main character (should you choose to keep him), also "skeptic" may be a better word to use than "cynical". Cynical carries a negative connotation.

    Sergeant Skeptical? ;)
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are flaw in this plans that were pointed out by others. Otherwise, it sort of reminded me of the series 'Arrow'. You should check it out. I always think that every idea can work, we just need to find the way. I think with some tweaking, your story could be quite interesting.
     
  10. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    Perhaps I could look into Nietzsche a bit, but my character isn't strictly anti-religion. That's not the point of the story at all. He combats bullying in any form, whether it's motivated by religious prejudices or anything else.
     
  11. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Where's your question? I'll assume you're asking if this scenario is plausible, and I'll only say depending on how you write it, it could be logical or completely nonsensical.
     
  12. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    I guess I'm just asking if it's a good idea.
     
  13. NeonFraction
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    NeonFraction Member

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    I think the problem with an anti-bullying superhero is that most bullying is not in the form of a bunch of people ganging up on one person and beating them up. Most bullying is subtle. Not letting them be part of the group. Snide comments within earshot. Ignoring them. Leaving notes in their locker.
    None of these things are enough to really react to with violence. And if this is a superhero who just goes after bullies who beat people up, why not go after muggers as well?
    For this type of situation to work, extremely violent bullying would have to be very very commonplace.
     
  14. Voltaire
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    Voltaire Member

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    Of course, Nietzsche isn't just anti-religion, just thought it was worth mentioning.
     
  15. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    He doesn't just go after violent bullies. He goes after all types of bullies, whether verbal or not. Maybe I'll get rid of the "he kills people" thing and instead of being an anti-villain, he'll just be a normal hero. Perhaps he accidentally murders someone once, and slowly becomes corrupted. Maybe he starts off good, and becomes more and more psychotic. I don't know. Just throwing around ideas lol.
     
  16. PMelol
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    PMelol New Member

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    Thanks Voltaire. I definitely like putting references to society, culture, philosophy, history, etc. into my stories. It's so cool that I can talk to an 18th century French Enlightenment philosopher on the Internet. I love your writings on government. Keep up the good work.
     
  17. Voltaire
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    Voltaire Member

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    Avec plaisir, mon ami ♥
     
  18. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    You must be new here. I'll let Cogito paste his "ideas don't matter, writing does" thing.

    The idea made me smirk. It reminds me of a short film I DPed where a girl in a cheetah mask kills her bullies with a chainsaw.

    Although in this case, I think the killing's a bit much. Even Alex DeLarge killed that woman accidentally. But I only say that because I have my own idea of what your idea is... if that makes sense. It could work. I don't know. Write it.

    By the way, I didn't know Voltaire lived in Brisbane.
     

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