1. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Changing Character Personality

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Elgaisma, Aug 18, 2010.

    I had the idea I would like to see the hero of the current story to change through arrogance in the next story. Is this a bad idea to change a character that has been establishd as a good guy for two stories?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Characters evolve over time, and not necessarily for the better.

    Harry Potter started out as a timid, likeable kid, but as time passed, he became a true teenager - surly, short-tempered, and arrogant. It's one of te things I like about the character. He showed some real, less than lovely attitudes, but was still someone you could care about and cheer on.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    yeah but he never became Voldemort:) I am considering taking him and having him go through a time of actually discovering his evil side. Letting arrogance and greed turn him into the enemy for a book.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, then Anakin Skywalker may be your model.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You can do whatever you want with your character, if your writing is good enough to convince the reader. It's all about the quality of the writing. A really good writer might be able to sell the idea that Queen Victoria was really a man from Argentina, whereas a really bad writer might not be able to convince readers that the Pope is Catholic. It's all about how good the writing is.
     
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  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just wondering if it would be weird for a reader, I was just watching one of the videos I was using for inspiration and it occured to me he has an arrogant streak and that could be exploited.

    Right now I am writing story two, starting to tout story one, so its just notes really for the next one. I have an idea how to frame it so the story could be good.

    Anakin would be but we went backwards with him. I can't think of one that has had such a drastic change, gone from strong and intelliegent real hero type to villan

    EDIT been informed the books didn't go backwards:) ok so like Anakin
     
  7. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, there!

    Um, I think that is perfectly fine. But there is one thing I would think about: This isn't you're main character, right?
    It would be tragic for a main character that your readers love to take a sudden turn for the worse. But if not, then I would surge ahead. :)

    T2
     
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  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thats my concern, my second book is told in first person present tense from his point of view. He is the second story. I can create another main character for the third story, he wasn't the main character for the first one.

    But my second I am hoping will be a real rollercoaster through Socrates emotions and life. I wouldn't tell this one from his point of view.
     
  9. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    Anything will work, it's all about how you write it. One note of caution, if you do choose to make your MC evil, remember to leave someone who the reader can cheer for. I absolutely abhor books/movies where the MC is as brutal and violent as the bad guys. All that's left is a big mangled mess of people who try to kill each other off.
     
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  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm contemplating making it his boyfriend's point of view, trying to bring him back to himself. He's not going to be physically brutal but he has found arrogance in his abilities which he didn't have before. I haven't got a pure evil character, even The Lord of Evil turns out to be a decent guy just maligned in legends.

    My concern is him being the story this time round.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This thread reminds me of The NeverEnding Story, by Michael Ende. In the novel (not the film, which only covers the first part of the novel), the main character Bastian goes from being likable in the real world to being selfish, mean, and arrogant when he gets to the fantasy world. The story deals with how he realizes what he has become and how he learns to become a better person. Bastian's personality change doesn't happen until nearly halfway through the book.

    It might serve as a model for what you're doing.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That might be worth considering Minstrel thanks:)
     
  13. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    There's no rule that says a character shouldn't change. In fact, the most annoying thing is when a character stays exactly the same despite incredible trauma and change. Having your protagonist become a worse person is a wonderful idea. Having him stay virtuous is not so innovative.
     
  14. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I have my two cents to add regarding what you guys said about leaving a good guy for the readers to root for.
    This is a fine idea, but make sure that the new protag ("good guy") is someone we already know, maybe one of the lesser characters who takes on more of a role in the future -- steps out from the shadows, so to speak.
    Or, you can make one of the bad guys turn good through an ethical sturggle or something like that -- but NOT if it's a "classic" bad guy like Voldemort or Vader.
    Don't, please don't, create some brand-new random character for the sequel where the MC goes bad and have this new person become the main protag out of the middle of nowhere. There's nothing at all wrong with new characters, but you can't expect readers to put their main support behind someone brand new in the middle of a series, you know?

    Or, you can keep the main focus with the MC, even though he's turned bad. But make sure that, despite what he does, we can still understand his motivations and see where he's coming from. Even the most heinus villain can be cheered on by readers if they can identify with him/her.
     
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  15. charlie82670
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    charlie82670 Member

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    I think fans of the story could stomach a change as long as they were able to relate to the change in some way. It would be completely understandable for the naive to become pessimistic after someone they trusted violated that trust.
     
  16. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree Mallory I am thinking of either making it just a chapter of this book or in the next one taking his lover and have them fight for him, bringing him back at the end.

    But I am still unsure because of the first person present tense its a good idea. My readers are right inside his head this time round.

    Have already done taking the Lord of Evil from my first story and making him good in the second.
     
  17. L. Ai
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    L. Ai Member

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    Characters grow and evolve, just like real people. I have played many roles in my life, hero, villain, damsel in distress, everyone has personality traits that are good and bad. I would totally read a book where the hero of the prequal who I had come to love and respect grew into a more villainy character. I would be heartbroken, sure. But it would be a page turner!
     
  18. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    i have the story planned his twin sister has gained his confidence in previous novel after previously killing their parents, she then exploits a naturally growing greed and arrogance which has come as a result of his growing skills and powers. He is distancing himself from his boyfriend, mentors and brother. His sister uses their secret liaisons to gain access to his mind. There is an indication in previous books that this might be happening:)
     
  19. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Characters should evolve and develop as the stories unfold.

    Think about it, how many times have seen or read something like:

    Skinny kid, shy and self conscious, gets picked on and pushed around.

    Meets a mentor learns martial arts, gains magic powers or learns the ways of the Jedi.

    Beats the crap out of the bad guys, saves the little guys and becomes a hero.

    Gets T.V. and magazine interviews, appears on Letterman and wins a medal from the President.

    Fame goes to his head, becomes a rotten, arrogant bastard, no longer has time for the little people, the victims or autographs for his fans.

    His best friends little sister is murdered while he's making an appearance on Larry King live, promoting his new block buster movie deal.

    Has that come-to-jesus moment where he realizes he's a total jerk and all the money, girls, fame and glitter isn't worth what it has cost.

    Does a dark, rainy, solo walk scene where his voice narrates his past failures and accomplishments...and he makes up his mind to return to the path of righteousness.

    Runs about saving kittens in trees, pulling orphans from burning buildings and holds up the city bus for the elderly lady...and is much happier with his life once more.


    ...Or am I wrong in seeing this as a recurring theme in "hero" stories?
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah but in this case it would be taking my main protagonist who the second story is written in first person about and making him the main antagonist, unlike with Anakin there is no real hint that he will do this, especially by the end of the second book - he is happy contented and at peace with everyone. I have written a couple of chapters and will be going with the story but with someone else taking over his mind.
     
  21. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    You should totally write this one out.
     
  22. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    So, if I understand your plot concept, its his evil twin sister that is the corrupting influence. She is manipulating/using/corrupting him, but obviously that cannot be the true force that brings about his personality change, because that would just make him into her victim.

    At some point in the story he will either turn on his sister, or possibly just become wise to her plot, and break with her (either violently or not, depending on the nature of your storyline). However, once free of her influence, he has been..."changed"...by the overall experience into something darker than he once was.

    Is that what you are shooting for here, or did I get it wrong?
     
  23. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    He is going to be the victim, he has allowed it to happen by distancing himself from the people around him. His partner recognises it and brings him back. As a result he will be a deeper character actually he will be less dark in someways as an influence that has been creating his depressive nature will have left. I am thinking he will kill her at the end. His powers and abilities will also be greater.

    This is very rough right now it came out of watching a music video lol
     
  24. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Well, obviously her victimization of him is what got the ball rolling, but it seems to me that if its all her, then the hero is just a hapless loser. I'd think their would have to be a certain "willingness" to embrace the darker side on his own.

    You said his partner spots what is happening and brings him back, but that sounds a little too easy. I'd imagine that once a character goes over to evil, the good guys just can't "bring him back" like flipping a light switch. The path to redemption must be long, hard and perilous, if the story is going to be worth reading.

    I'd imagine that it might be something like drug withdrawal. The fallen hero can't be saved until HE has suffered enough to actually WANT to be saved...then his friends can actually help him.

    But that's just my opinion.
     
  25. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    He is not going to be the hero, that will be his partner this time. I will tell the story from the partner's point of view. The main focus is going to be a love story between them.

    She has been manipulating his mind since they were small children - in my second story her brothers helped her escape justice (she poisoned their mother when she was 11 and shot their father which starts my first story). All it takes on his part is an arguement, a growing arrogance, and hiding from everyone else the fact he is seeing her, and that she is back in the country.

    He is on track to become the most powerful being the universe has ever seen, by taking control of him she has access to all that.

    He has a connection with his partner they have had through obsessively practicing their powers together in their teens, it was a way to release sexual tension for them. Their power is stronger together, without each other they are much weaker, the partner has always helped him control her influence before, because of the arguement he can't manage alone.
     

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