1. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Character Struggles: Advice Please?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by SilverWolf0101, Mar 21, 2011.

    Hey guys, I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been working hard on college, looking for a job and even my stories (reviewing and rewriting seriously is no fun sometimes).

    But now I need some advice, and this has had me stumped for a good few weeks. So I'm asking for some help.

    Okay, my problem is, I have three different characters who face probably the biggest struggle of their highschool life. All three characters know each other, and they all have a bit of an idea about each other's struggle. But they're three seperate cases in a way.

    Case 1: Is about a hermaphadite (I dunno if I spelled it right and if it's the correct term here, but the kid is a he-she) who's seventeen years old. They go by the name of Lloyd, because for the longest while they considered themself to be more masculine. Well, during their senior year a french transfer student comes into the school and Lloyd ends up falling for her bad. Which triggers this internal struggle about their own identity. There's a big struggle about how she would feel about Lloyd being both genders, in his mind. Along with the struggle for Lloyd to figure out who they really are.

    Case 2 Is about Lloyd's best friend Shinzo, who's 18 years old and comes from a rich family. Anyways, Shinzo ends up falling in love with a girl named Naomi, but he finds out that Naomi is also his arch rival Tai (who was believed to be a male). So after he finds out he just completely stops talking to them and avoids them at all cost.
    (I'm not entirely sure how Shinzo reacts to this or how it affects his struggle)

    Case 3: Is about Shinzo's little sister Leiko who also learns the truth about Tai. She's fifteen and did like most teenage girls do. She fell for Tai hard. So now she's struggling with her self denial while also trying to understand the truth. Basically she's dealing with the usual teenage heart break thing I guess.


    Okay, so I've never dealt with anything like this, and I'm not sure exactly how each character would deal with it. So I'm kinda looking for some examples or advice that might give me an idea?

    If you need/want more info please feel free to ask.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Is Tai also a hermaphrodite, or just in disguise to maintain two identities?
     
  3. nzric
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    nzric Active Member

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    Arch rival?
     
  4. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Tai is a female disguised as a male for most of the story. They are Shinzo's rival in just about everything, including girls. It's your usual rivalry between school boys.
     
  5. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you saying Naomi posed as a guy in school (Tai)? Or was Naomi pretending to be Tai on the internet or something?

    Physical descriptions of the characters (hair cut, dress, etc) would also help. Does Naomi dress or act like a tomboy? You said Lloyd feels he is male, which is common for hermaphrodites because they usually choose a dominant gender. Did Lloyd still develop boobs like a girl? (This is another common thing to happen). Does he get mocked for this?

    All the characters sound interesting, but we need a bit more detail about them to answer such questions.
     
  6. Earphone
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    Earphone Active Member

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    I wouldn't suggest disguising a female character as a male. You'd have to be pretty dumb not to notice the differences; unless she's flat as a rail, or "homely".

    As for Lloyd, what where your intentions for "it"? You mentioned they're more masculine, what do they do? Any sports or hobbies, that lean more toward one gender like football? And what about the character that Lloyd falls for, what's she like? I imagine hermaphrodites to be asexual, but I'm probably wrong on that.
     
  7. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    The struggle concept seems interesting enough, though for clarification a hermaphrodite is

    a) A person with both genitals and fictional
    or
    b) A person born with the physical appearance of one gender, but the actual genitals of the other (Look up articles about the South African runner Semenya, among others)

    What you seem to be describing is closer to being a crossdresser/transvestite/transexual depending on motive/sexuality. Anyway.

    These scenarios sound familiar - I can't remember where from. It's not as if there's no reference material though: She's the Man (film) and Tad Williams' Otherland are the first examples that come to mind.



    It's perfectly realistic for females to disguise themselves as males and vice versa, assuming they go to some effort and the obvious characteristics are somewhat muted, so don't worry too hard about that. What concerns me more is that the three cases are more or less the same in nature and their resolution depends on the characters you're building, which isn't something anyone can really give advice on.

    It basically boils down to a few concepts:

    - What is generally accepted to be "male" and "female", "gay" and "straight"
    - How important is it to the character that they adhere to these guidelines.
    - How important the status quo is to the character (ie. Happy to keep friendships and rivalries the way they are)
    - How willing the character is to risk the status quo for change (ie. Would I risk losing a friend for the prospect of a lover?)

    These aren't questions anyone can answer for you.
     
  8. fervish
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    fervish Senior Member

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    I cant get past the fact that you seem to be treating a hermaphrodite as someone with a split personality. Im sure there is an internal struggle of identity but they are not schizophrenic, they are a he or a she (though sometimes wrongly appointed). Maybe you shouldve said it like he/she instead of they.
     
  9. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Naomi is posing as a guy at school (Tai).
    During the day when Naomi is Tai (I'm sorry if this gets confusing) she acts as much of a male as possible. She'll pick fights with guys, have an attitude problem, "flirt" with the girls. She very much acts as a boy, but there are those occassions where her female side shows through.
    For example, when she sees something cute she'll often want to cuddle it like a girl would. She does pout about things too.
    When Naomi isn't playing Tai, she tends to be a little clueless because she's not use to acting like a female. (She was actually raised in a military family where her parents are top figures. This influenced her belief that she has to be more of a male then a female). She does still retain some of her "male" characteristics.
    In example, when Lloyd accidently gropes her, she punches Lloyd with all of her strength.
    So yes, Naomi does act a lot like a tomboy when she is a girl. But she's mostly clueless because ever since she was a child she's had the belief that she has to be as much a male as possible in her mind.

    No Lloyd doesn't. He's flat on top like a male, but is female on the bottom.
    As a child Lloyd was picked on for being the way he is. He often got beat on by the other kids and was always in a fight because of it. Now that Lloyd is older though a lot of people don't know about it though because Lloyd tries to keep it a secret. So a lot of people believe he is completely male.

    Lloyd use to play soccer, he's very althetic and excersises a lot. Lloyd also cooks just about everything but his goal in life is to be a fashion designer.
    Iris (the girl Lloyd falls for), is from France. She's very shy and clumsy. She easily makes friends with people and doesn't care much about who they really are. She loves to have fun and tends to be very energetic sometimes (which only adds to her cluminess).

    I was afraid I was using the wrong term for Lloyd. Lloyd is both male and female so I'm not exactly sure what he would be then if he's not a hermaphrodite.

    I didn't mean to present it like this. I've never worked with a character of both genders before so it's pretty new to me how their mind would work on the subject of them being both genders. I didn't mean to present it as being schizophrenic.
    My intention is that Lloyd is having an identity struggle to figure out if he really is as musculine as he always believed himself to be. He fears he'll be rejected by Iris if she were to find out about him being both genders. His struggle also includes things like:
    -What if he can't provide everything she would expect from a male.
    -What if she didn't even like males and wanted a female.
    -What if she considers him to be a freak.
    -He actually starts to question his sexuality (he's never really determined if he was bi, straight or gay).
    Among a lot of other things.
     
  10. fervish
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    fervish Senior Member

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    "Is about a hermaphadite (I dunno if I spelled it right and if it's the correct term here, but the kid is a he-she)"
    "Lloyd is both male and female so I'm not exactly sure what he would be then if he's not a hermaphrodite."

    I think you should do more research on hermaphrodites. You dont want to create a character based on misconceptions and uncertainty or offend people or look foolish. Plus the research will give you some new ideas.
     

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