1. darklordbob
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    darklordbob Member

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    Character Emotion

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by darklordbob, Apr 30, 2008.

    So I've been working on a story for a while, but I can't seem to really draw people in, and if I don't have an audience, I feel like I need to fix it, and start over... Anyways, one of the problems I feel I have is with the main character. His name is James Versai and he is a clone of an Angel of Shadow named Jenar, and as such inherited Jenar's soul. Jenar and James share the same soul, but since they lived different lives, they are two distinct and different people existing within the same body. James occupying the actual body and Jenar existing and communicating with James through his shadow. As time goes by, the line between the two personalities dims, all but vanishing when James is going through an extreme emotion, such as times of pure anger or rage. James is afraid of this blurring, because he is afraid he will lose himself, his individuality.

    James was raised by his abusive mother, and never knew his father, and so had to mature quickly. He never got to have a real childhood, and this is something he deeply regrets.

    James is also plagued by guilt. He one time went into a psychotic rage, retaliating against his mother, injuring her to the point of leaving her in a vegetable state. James hated how his mother could be an abusive person, but he always loved his mother, because she was a good, if weak, person at heart.

    James is someone who is extremely mature and intelligent for a teenager, but hides acts strange and comedic to hide his deep, philisophical side. He is a strong believer in mind over matter and takes a positive attitude in everything he does, though he can slip into depressions. He hates the idea of killing, even in self-defense, but recognizes it as a necessary evil.


    Anyways, my story is first person, so I'm trying to think of the best way to look at the world from his perspective. I also want advice on how to write him as a believable character... Any ideas or criticism, preferably constructive, would be appreciated...
     
  2. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    He seems very interesting, similar somewhat to a character in my story.

    I think that because he is afraid of "merging" with Jenar, he will try to not show much emotion, or try not to get into situations where he can get angry. He would be kind of detached, not wanting to make relationships or become attached to people. He'd probably start to dislike people and society in general. But maybe he could meet someone who would try to open him up to emotion, not knowing that doing so would cause him to go insane...

    Just some of my thoughts....good luck.:cool:
     
  3. darklordbob
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    darklordbob Member

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    Thanks! The way I've been thinking about it, Jenar is pretty much his only friend, but partway into the story he does make two more friends. They both enter the story close to the same time, so they could definitely be the ones who open him up to the world.
     
  4. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    James seems to me like someone who is extrordinarily forgiving and extremely able to look past peoples' actions to their motivations and feelings. On the other hand, perhaps he gets snappish from all the nice bottled up inside him. Violently snappish, like when he turned on his mom.

    How does Jenar feel about rage/anger? As an Angel, I'd say he'd be more compassionate and calm, but since there's an 'of shadow' tacked on the end, maybe he enjoys the darker side of human emotions...
     
  5. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Yeah, does "Angel of Darkness" mean a demon?
     
  6. darklordbob
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    darklordbob Member

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    Well, in my story, there are three magics... Light and Shadow exist in a sort of yin and yang relationship, neither being inherintly good or evil... Together they represent balance. The third magic is death magic, though some call it life magic. Death magic is necessary for life but it is the most dangerous magic and represents chaos.

    Anyway, a long time ago, there was a man named Gurehim who was able to use death magic, and was the only human able to use magic until his children were born, and so was considered a god. He had a daughter who used light magic, and named her Zyvn. His son controlled shadow magic and was called Yth. These two were also recognized as gods. Each chose a messenger to inform the humans of their will. Zyvn chose a girl named Lira, and Yth chose a boy named Jenar. Each was blessed with a portion of their respective master's power. They were the first angels. Lira was an Angel of Light, Jenar an Angel of Shadow.

    As for how James treats other people, I think of him as being understanding and forgiving, because he is able to recognize his own faults, and knows he would want to be forgiven for them.

    As for Jenar and emotion... I don't want to spoil too much, but he has a lot of bottled up emotions. He is definitely the angrier, more violent of the two personalities, though he isn't really a bad person, he just has trouble controlling how he feels. Combine that with immense power and you get someone you really don't want as an enemy.
     
  7. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    Ok, so I assume that he meets up with Lira's twin person...interesting...:cool:
     
  8. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Darklordbob,

    Often it is not the characters that are boring or difficult for readers to be drawn to or care for...it's the way they are characterized and developed by the writer.

    A main distinction is direct characterization as opposed to indirect characterization.

    Here is an article I wrote that explains and clarifies through examples the difference (if you're unsure what I'm talking about):
    Direct vs. Indirect Characterization

    In general, allowing a reader to form their own image based based on events/actions/dialogue in the context of the story...like getting to know or piece a puzzle together, it is more interesting to the reader, and consequently the emotional bond or linkage to the character is a bit stronger.

    In any case, there is a place for both types of characterization. But maybe overuse of direct characterizatoin, or improper use of indirect is a part of what is hampering your writing and main character from fully blossoming.

    Terry
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Good article. How well do you know the author, and do you consider him reliable? ;)
     

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