1. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    Character help please

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Indarican, Mar 22, 2016.

    Background data:
    -I am writing a fantasy novel series of which I am presently on the first book.
    -Each book will have different a different antagonist from a group/kingdom
    - Each group will be introduced in the book prior.

    So I am presently introducing a new character/group to my book, they have a small part in this book but they will play a major part in the next book. I am trying to figure out how to bring this character in , causing the main protagonist a great deal of stress and worry but steal down play them enough so they don't have to have a major role in this book.
    So far I have talked about the new antagonist in one chapter and have kind of left it as the main characters know what it is but not who. Now the problem is I feel like I am just dropping that part of the story like it is an added detail that won't be picked up on or will be confusing to the reader.
    Any tips are appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I, myself, would have to know a little more about the story before I could give you advice. How exactly are you trying to incorporate this new person into the story? How do they cause the current protagonist issues, exactly?

    Depending on just who (or what) this new character is and how they fit into the world you're trying to make, there's a lot of ways you could probably go about doing it, I myself just need more specifics before I could give suggestions.
     
  3. Sundowner
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    Sundowner Member

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    Don't be afraid to do something that only seems pointless now, but later turns out to be a big plot point. Lots of things do that. It's usually called foreshadowing, and it's a good way to counteract deus ex'ing. Doing things now, no matter how pointless, shows that you planned it, and you really care about the story.

    Well, what could this character do to the protagonist? If they're doing anything that's actually relevant and not just irritating them, then it's probably going to be a plot point. Did they cut MC's hand off (accidentally or purposefully) so he needs a prothetic now? Or maybe some other scar? Something to add even the littlest plot or development? That will certainly be enough to tie everything together.
     
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  4. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    @Sundowner My protagonist is very attuned with nature, never wanting to kill animals, she thinks killing anything is abhorrent, in fact one of the main flaws of her group is they would die before they harm another unless it is due to saving someone else.
    The new antagonist appears in the book now taking part in a ritual that includes killing/debilitating and hanging animals and a human body, the protagonist happens to stumble into this scene and when the antagonist realizes he is being watched he disappears (one of the gifts of this group of antagonists).
    following that there is a little back story on what would be doing those type of rituals and can also disappear, that is all I have on that antagonist in the book so far.
     
  5. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    That sounds fine to me. If they just kind of stumble across it and experience it for a brief moment before they feel they're being watched and they need to go, that's perfect fodder for foreshadowing. You hit the reader with something crazy like this and only give them enough time to quickly see it, then the reader is left wondering "what was up with that part with the animals and stuff?".

    If you're worried people might see it as some kind of random thing that never gets used (since I assume you won't really revisit the guys who did this ritual in the first book, you'll save them for the second book) one of the characters could explain some quick exposition on what they saw, if any other characters know enough about the ritual to comment on it. That way you give readers a taste of what else lives in the world/directly set up the second book.
     
  6. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    @TheRealStegblob That's pretty much exactly what I did!! :)
     
  7. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Then I think you're fine. Just so long as it doesn't come off feeling too abrupt or anything like that, but unless you're a total novice to writing, I don't think that'll be a problem at all.
     
  8. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    @TheRealStegblob ..... well I am a novice to writing, I have never had anything published. And I only have written short stories for fun, this will be my first novel. (fingers-crossed)
    As I was rereading I was definitely finding it very open ended, I felt like there should be more and of course I know that there will be more in the books to come but am just worried like the reader will have an "ok, and what happened next" moment.
     
  9. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    If you'd like, I'd offer to read the part for you and give you my thoughts, for whatever they're worth.
     
  10. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    @TheRealStegblob that would be wonderful, but I'm not sure if that is against the rules or not? I still have a week before I hit two weeks. Isn't that how long we have to wait until we start sharing our work? @Wreybies Can I share work with other members even though I have been here less than 2 weeks?
     
  11. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's not against any rules to do it, you just can't officially ask for it in the collab forum and I'm pretty sure you couldn't make a thread somewhere else asking for it, but if someone approached you, I doubt the moderators would have any problems with it. The 'wait 2 weeks before you ask for beta readers' is there so people don't just spam the forum with accounts they never use again begging for beta reads.
     
  12. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    ooooooooo, Ok. I guess that makes sense.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    What you do via PM is your business. We don't patrol that area. Plus, @TheRealStegblob offered, you did not solicit. A thread soliciting such would be against the rules. This here is not solicitation. ;)
     
  14. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    Thanks @Wreybies !
     
  15. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Indarican Have you ever seen the Batman movie The Dark Knight?

    The movie opens with The Joker's goons robbing millions from a bank owned by the mob. While examining the crime scene, Batman and Jim Gordon talk about their efforts to bring down the mob and whether they should be doing more about this new guy on the block. Batman's answer was "One man or the entire mob? [The Joker] can wait."

    By the end of the movie, The Joker has done more damage to Gotham than the mob could ever have dreamed of doing themselves.

    Maybe you could do something like this, only spread out across more than one book? If the antagonist of your next book is already getting started in the earlier book, then the protagonists could easily hear about the next antagonist's current actions second-hand (or maybe even third-hand or fourth-hand), but they decide that they already have their own problems to worry about right now and they don't bother looking for this new guy on the block.
     
  16. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    @Simpson17866 I totally get what you are saying, but I feel like I am introducing the antagonist and then just leaving it.
    For example if lets say in the The Dark Knight The Joker was introduced, he robbed the bank and then you didn't see or hear about him again until The Dark Knight Rises I would feel a bit confused until the next movie.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  17. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    We heard about him at the end of Batman Begins and had to wait for the next movie to get directly involved ;)



    Maybe make it part of the world-building that the characters talk about 3-4 different threats in their world in addition to the one that they're dealing with, then in the next book one of those rumored threats takes center stage but nothing comes of the others (for the protagonists at least)?
     
  18. Indarican
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    Indarican Member

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    @Simpson17866 I forgot about that part. So do you think it would still work if the introduction of the new antagonist was in the middle of the story instead of at the end?
     
  19. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see why not ;)

    Did you look at my idea for characters to talk over the course about about multiple threats that are going on, one of which will form the basis of the next book but most of which will not?
     
  20. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    So have the characters reactions to and proceeding actions build on that event, to link it. What changes does this event have on your group? How do they react/how does their journey change? How do they grow/or deteriorate from this?
     

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