1. writetolive213
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    writetolive213 New Member

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    Creating a good love interest:male

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by writetolive213, Sep 19, 2008.

    I want this guy to be sort of the poet, who's hurting, he just lost his only friend, and he comes to stay with the boy's family, and falls in love with his dead friend's sister. (The sister is actually my m.c.) I want him to be the classic Romance hero, kind of the real gentlemanly/bleeding heart type, but still be very flawed, because he's a very broken/messed up guy. Very passionate, and artistic, and extremely gentle, but also, sort of fierce, at the same time.


    If you were able to understand that, any tips?


    What are some cliches I need to avoid?
     
  2. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    For flaws, you could make him distracted and not care for others feelings. Like he'll say something rude and not know that it hurts people.

    All romance stories are cliche. But you have to do your best to put a new spin on the tale.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry but stories, of any kind, are not cliche. A word, phrase, or mataphor can be a cliche. The overuse and misuse of the word cliche is a cliche.

    Olive, the important thing is to stop looking at your character as an archetype, a personification of a set of traits. Concentrate on the character as a person. When your story rquires a trait, decide to what degree your character possesses that trait entering the story, and how his passage the story may have augmented that trait. Think of him as a real person, and use observations of real people to try to make him realistic.
     
  4. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, what you've described is a Byronic hero like Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights or Edward Cullen in Twilight, or maybe even Spiderman.

    That personality type is used a lot, but I think if your storyline is interesting enough, it'll still be enjoyable to read. One thing you could do instead is think of the guys at your school, and kind of model your character after one of them so that he sounds authentic and 3D.
     
  5. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    By cliche, I meant that romance stories really are about one thing: a person falling in love with another. You can dress it up and twist it around and change it a lot, but its basically the same. What I meant is that reading a romance story almost always makes the reader think that they've read it before. I'm just saying that romance stories have been done often and there isn't really much new ground for them.
     
  6. nguyene
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    nguyene New Member

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    Your character could be really dense or unwilling to love and falls for the sister anyway?
     
  7. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    I agree with Cog i couldn't have said it better.
     
  8. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Let's be honest, you are just defining the genre and stating the obvious.
     
  9. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Sounds like a walking contradiction of traits, which of course helps in the end of things.

    All in all, it sounds like you have a good "idea" of what you want. At this point the story is what would bring him to life of leave him for dead. I suggest you start writing.

    :)
     
  10. TheAdlerian
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    TheAdlerian Senior Member

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    Several years ago an author who suffered from depression wrote a book called The Noonday Demon, which was about his troubles. After a chapter I felt like the guy was infecting me with his problem and put it down.

    In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the idea is that your beliefs dictate how you feel and act. The book I mentioned was an example of a man who has a certain core idea in his mind which turns everything to crap while having a huge exaggerated poetic flare. The author was unaware of this though.

    An example that springs to mind is a description of a tree, which goes on for pages. It painted a great picture of, say an oak tree, connected it to nature, and then he finished with a pronouncement that the thing was just going to end up dead anyway.

    He did several depressing things. He talked about that single tree is if it wasthe Jesus of all trees about to get crucified. I know that all trees are a phenomenon, but they're a dime a dozen (they are). Secondly, he gave the impression that the tree was going to die "now" thus negating all the years it has left. Also, worrying about about a plant's beauty and death gives it human qualities, so it's loss of beauty and ultimate death are sad.

    They aren't unless you think in very exaggerated and unrealistic manner.

    Point:

    That was long, but my point is that such a character is going to have very big ideas and reads importance into things an average person wouldn't. A depressed type of person might believe they're "eating the FLESH of this APPLE!" and want to die from the horror. A very passionate poetic person might believe the "need to save kids is imperative!" and set out to do something about it and suffer, struggle, or whatever. One has fairly ridiculous passions and the other more realistic but tough to solve as quickly or widely as they desire.
     
  11. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    The guy who wrote the book seems a bit self-centered if you ask me.
     
  12. Foxee
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    Foxee Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds a little bit like you're over-thinking this to me. By that I mean you are going in to creating this character and dumping a bunch of traits in, mixing them up, and hoping to come up with a living, breathing person. I don't know about other writers but I can't do it that way.

    I'd suggest more of a journey of discovery. Stop trying to tell your character what they're like and let them tell you. Start with a name, a very general idea of a few attributes (for instance, you may only know that a character is temperamental and indecisive at the very beginning) and don't depart from those attributes once they're set. Then drop the character into a situation and, using what you know so far, observe how they react.

    That is, how would this character logically react given that they are temperamental and indecisive? If you toss them into a scene where they have to get to the other side of the city quickly and don't have enough money for a taxi and no car of their own...would you find out they have friends who they call to pick them up? Will the friends pick them up or let them down? Will they try a bus or subway instead and how much of a problem is it for them to decide? Do they get on the wrong train because they're stressed out? With each turn of the story and even each part of the scene you find out more and more about your character. As you do you have to accept more and more of this as fact and your character reliably acts a certain way in a given situation.

    Does that make sense? (it did to me when I wrote it but you know how it is)
     
  13. TheAdlerian
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    TheAdlerian Senior Member

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    I would agree, but the problem is that self-centered people frequently don't know they are. The guy also had the problem of reading too much into things, and I'm not sure what that's called.
     

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