1. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Characters Gone Bad

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by MilesTro, Dec 12, 2007.

    Have you ever thought of making a main character, who is not a good guy at all? I'm thinking about making a character, who just doesn't care about anybody, but just herself. She's greedy, wicked, and a trickster. And she has no friends and no love interest. Just a lot of enemies to get pass by to reach her goal. What do you think? :eek:
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    See the How Evil Can a Hero Be? thread.
     
  3. kmlovering
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    kmlovering Senior Member

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    Hi Cogito

    Funny you should mention this. I started a short story, and posted in another forum. My character was a money grubber with absolutely no character whatsoever. She was mean, selfish, and vain. The story starts out with the main character, and her brother on a drive to their dead grandmother's house, to tie up the grandmother's loose ends, fix the house etc. The sister and brother argued the whole way, neither had any respect for each other, and I thought the story was compelling. I am told it was not compelling, and that I needed to give her some likable qualities. I would be interested to hear your opinion. What do you think?
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    The thing is, you have to make it realistic. A character can be as downright dispicable as you like, if it's believable. There has to be a reason for the character being so evil, and if you can present that, you can evoke sympathy with the main character, regardless of their actions. And that's the important thing; the reader has to be able to sympathise or empathise with the main character, in some way, in order to feel involved in the story.
     
  5. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    I have an idea for a book that has the main character being a power obsessed wannabe tyrant, his father who is worse, and the closest things to good guys are manipulating the main character into fulfilling a prophecy that will see the father killed, the world likely plunged into civil war, and then they will kill the main character because he's too evil to live.
    As long as its interesting the characters can be the most despicable people on Earth. It will just make the audience want to see how they are brought low.
     
  6. kmlovering
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    kmlovering Senior Member

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    That's what I was thinking...

    My character is bad, because of her childhood experiences, and changes through the new experiences in the story. The end (not sure how to end it yet) would show her in a softer light. Great ideas. I don't want to give up on the idea, I think it's got potential.
     
  7. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I think a good reason for my character is because her parents raised her spoil. She wouldn't stop wanting things, and so she began to steal stuff.
     
  8. kmlovering
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    kmlovering Senior Member

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    Well, I got some good advice earlier, about making showing why your character is"bad." Giving the reader a reason to keep reading, by gaining sympathy for the character. Good point, I think!
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There needs to be something the reader can identify with in a positive way. Maybe the person is rotten to the core, but then you find out he was raised by parents even more depraved than he is. Or perhaps your character has reasons for acting as he does, reasons the reader can acknowledge even if they disagree with them.

    Hannibal Lecter is about the most despicable human being you will hope to never meet, but he is so diabolically clever that you are almost cheering for him to overcome overwhelming odds to escape from the most stringent security the prisons can devise.

    If you don't succeed in developing some sympathy, the reader is likely to just abandon the book and read something more palatable. I read through Stephen Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, but Covenant is such pathetic, morose character. Donaldson tries to show a self-discipline required for Covenant to survive his leprosy, but he simply comes off as selfish, pigheaded, and unfeeling.

    P.S. - That's quite the avatar! :)
     
  10. kmlovering
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    kmlovering Senior Member

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    I am a huge Hannibal Lector fan. I agree, and I think I may try and work on the story. I think the idea is good enough to maybe expand to a novel. But..., I am still getting my feet wet, so one thing at a time!
     

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