1. C996
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    C996 New Member

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    Attempting to develop characters - should it be drastic?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by C996, Mar 27, 2013.

    Hi all, thank you for any help in advance.

    In my proposed series there are a number of recurring characters who are all part of the same section in a war.
    There are four books in which something of great importance is the character development.


    C - C's world view remains pretty constant as he was never either too gung-ho or anti-war in the first place. He does however go through two
    sexual relationships with those in his squad, and has to deal with not only the usual specters of war but one of his lovers will probably die in the
    last book after he was unfaithful and dropped the relationship. He is the main character and probably most developed so far. He develops a great loyalty and affection for his squad, which (as he realises) might make them more important than the mission. He is also dealing with his separation from his family and some of the less savoury things he's done for King and Country.

    J - He is slightly older than C and in this war as a result of his friendship with C and his disgust of war's treatment of civilians. He will be less and less willing to torture and execute as the story develops, partly as a result of a Chinese (one of the hostile nations) infantryman's kind treatment of him when he was (unknown by the Chinese) "hoist by his own petard" in his role as a guerrilla in the second book. This will probably lead to his eventual conflict between his morality and his loyalty to C.

    T - C's lover in the second book, spurned in the third. T is up for the war, if not enthusiastic. He shares much of C's pragmatism but can err on the side of J if he feels C, D, or SAS 1 to be too ruthless. T loves C and is afraid that it is unrequited. It had been for much of their time at school together, and T relapses when C is afraid that their relationship is becoming too unprofessional and a danger to the section, and ends it. T's feelings aren't greatly improved when C starts to sleep with the female addition to the section - Li, a gorgeous South Korean.

    SAS 1 - An old battle scarred veteran of the SAS, still exceptionally lethal in his early fifties. After leading a distinguished 1st career in the SAS and then a successful career as a security contractor he loses his wife and daughter in a terrorist attack. After a "lost year" accounting for much of the world's tobacco and scotch production he rejoins the SAS to try and sideline his grief and prevent such atrocities that affected him so badly. He had a close friendship and paternal relationship with a younger soldier from "The Regiment", which ended after his protegee's death early in the series. SAS 1 is now a man with a great deal of barely buried ghosts, with the intent of only dying from the last bullet in the last battle of his war. He notices an increasing liking for C, is he in danger of losing another protege?

    Li - After an idyllic early childhood the perfect daughter had her father die in an accident, and move from Canada back to her family's native South Korea. When she realised herself slipping into a less than exciting life with her ever more protective and controlling mother she ran away to the less legal areas of Seoul, where she lived off her attractive body and aggressive independence. After one too many cautions from the police she is sent to live with her old veteran uncle, from whom she inherits an interest in her South Korean roots and the military. Finding a more accepted and productive outlet for her qualities she is accepted as a special forces heli pilot after failing a fast jet course. After an intense relationship with a special forces soldier who is killed in a covert operation in North Korea, she becomes colder again and starts looking for combat. C tries to defrost her, with mixed success, will she develop a lasting love for C or move on after the war ends?


    If you're still reading then thank you! The only remaining character is D, C's most loyal and ruthless friend, who's solutions rarely involve the Geneva Convention. D is not without his charms, indeed he is very charismatic and a great friend. However, he is French and on top of that has no time for J's or T's morals. Cruel war is quick war? D would think so. I am struggling to come up with a "development path" for him though. One idea is that his family is killed when a pilot ejects from a damaged Eurofighter which crashes into his property. Is this too drastic? If I took this approach this would help explain his severity, but could that not be a natural part of his character?


    In short:

    Any and all feedback on any and all of the characters and their development would be appreciated, but especially
    thoughts on D.


    Have a good evening!


    C996
     
  2. tinylittlepixie
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    tinylittlepixie Member

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    I think that the conflict that could arise for D is his torn loyalties between getting the job done and the growing (I'm guessing) disillusionment that C will have towards war - C seems to be on the side of the team, whereas D is on the side of the cause, and I suppose that could be an intriguing juxtaposition if they are forced into choosing something they disagree with.

    I'm not sure if I'd go with the idea of D's family being killed in the Eurofighter crash backstory, it probably seems a bit too dramatic and at odds with what seems to be a story arc focussed on the subtleties in relationships. What makes him cruel? Why does he want/need quick and easy war? Perhaps the idea that his values have been shaped by a family history (father?) of being involved in long and drawn out conflicts that were ultimately fruitless. I think that for balance in the characterisations, he probably needs to be darker and less explained. You need a reason for his brutal efficiency but not an excuse, if you see what I mean?
     
  3. C996
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    C996 New Member

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    Thank you for the reply, it's a great help! You're right in the sense the conflict is between C's value of the mission and of his squad. He doesn't question of the value of the war, Britain is occupied and C is very patriotic, but if his squad doesn't cover the last objective in the war - someone else probably will. D feels the same, he's not incapable of emotions, but he finds it the easiest to prioritise the mission I can envisage a pretty pivotal moment where C has to choose between the mission and the squad, with D being pretty vocal for the former.

    I would agree with you on the crash being a little contrived and unnecessarily melodramatic. There's a world war on so there's plenty of entertainment to be had...

    I think a good background and explanation for D's combat "efficiency" would be his country's (France) history in Vietnam, and Afghanistan where war has been anything but total.(No disrespect, war has been more of a cautious, civilian friendly beast of late). Perhaps a relative in the French Army/Marines who have proved D's approach right, whether because of advice or death?

    Thanks again, a lot to think about!
     

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