1. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Darkest character work you've ever written

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Simpson17866, Oct 26, 2013.

    This came up on the OOC discussion of one of the sword/sorcery RPGs I'm writing in, and I was wondering what the rest of the people here had to say, so here it is:

    What are the worst things you've ever done to your characters, made your characters do to each other, and what impact did it have on making the conflicts more difficult to resolve?
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I think the worst I've ever done to a character is in the first draft, but I decided by the second draft to change it. The situation was that my character would get raped by her father. I took it out for two reasons:

    1.) After further review, I saw that it did not move the story in the appropriate direction.

    2.) It was just too dark a subject for me to write about, and I don't want to tackle it (at least, not yet).
     
  3. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Two of my main character's, Nicholas, partners were murdered. He was already a violent anti-hero with a depressive aura. It seemed that every time he wanted to put his life back together someone died, as if he was doomed to be a miserable soul.

    The first partner of his killed had the most darkness about it. Veronica, at the start of the series their relationship is already over and she's the one taking care of their daughter of whom he barely gets to see due to prison. Veronica was a devout Christian and often tried to get Nicholas to see the light in their relationship, of course this lead to the relationships end. Veronica's murder was execution style by Nicholas's rival mercenary, Mr. Jay. Jay used her Christianity to humiliate her as he sadistically made her sing a prayer for him before putting two bullets in the back of her head.

    The whole scene was disturbing. It made making Nicholas a stable and sane character extremely difficult.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wrote a story about an MC who was a serial rapist and one about an MC who was an alcoholic. They were both short stories, though. They were more literary/character sketches, without a real problem that was resolved. It was more of an unfolding of events that leads the reader to realize what the MC was.
     
  5. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    At this point my MC Allison's girlfriend, Aimee, was gang raped by four young men in an abandoned building when she was nineteen years old. The scene was disturbingly graphic wherein she describes during a therapy session these men grabbing her, and while one would pin her down by the neck to a folding table with a rusty chain, the other three would take multiple turns violating her. Whenever she tried to fight back they would just pull the chain tighter to the point where she nearly passed out. But they never would let her black all the way out. I don't have the scene completely fleshed out yet, but I'm getting the impression this was either an act of spite or just pure hatred. I'm sure their exact motives for doing what they did will come to me as I move along in the story...
    It didn't make the conflicts more difficult, rather it created the conflict. After the rape, Aimee developed some minor degree of mental illness as well as a quite severe problem with heroin, hence why she is in the rehab hospital by court order. This is where my MC first meets her while she is going through rehab for her own issues with liquor and prescription painkillers among other illicit drugs.
     
  6. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I do bad things to all of my characters in drama, particularly because they're poverty dramas, so I put them through gut-wrenching poverty. It is the conflict.

    I don't know why I like to write them, but I think it has something to do with
    a.) standing up for a cause
    b.) I like to utterly shock people.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...in my novel, 'casa eva' i had the husband character of my m/c [modeled on my actual husband who was bad, but not that bad] rape her brutally [in creatively graphic detail, i'm now ashamed to say], thus solidifying her previously iffy desire to end their mockery of a marriage...

    ...in the end, none, since he either drowns himself in the sea off puerto vallarta [where the story takes place], or has been done in by friends or family of the wife's re-encountered lover [from before her marriage], who provides the happy ending...

    in later years, i realized the error of my ways and made a solemn vow to never again use violence to entertain, nor help anyone else to do so...

    i find it disturbing and sad, that with all but one of us who named the act, it was a woman being raped...
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    -A female MC was abused by her husband she was forced to marry, and later he hunts her down to finish the job. She gets her retribution, of course, but I did put her through bad things first. Granted, I only allude to them.
    -A male MC's brother plus his wife and kid were murdered and the MC has to live with that burden, seeking revenge but never achieving it.

    Of my main characters, probably a man who used to run a hit squad and was integral in an eugenics program that was to determine the fate of the human race, more or less. Later, he has the lover of his goddaughter kidnapped as he turns out to be a fitting test subject for his second project.

    After that, it's very difficult to make the reader sympathize with him, and perhaps that's a good thing, albeit it was harsh rejection that snowballed his future actions, so it's not like he was born evil.
    But when someone has done something so bad to others, the only way to resolve the conflict is to tear him to bits. There's no chance for forgiveness, and this means my good guys can't be all good if they want closure.
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I had a girl hunted like a deer through the woods (though no guns). I had an abused woman leave her abuser - only to be beaten and kidnapped, left for dead in an abandoned barn later. I have a story about a guy whose girlfriend died in a drunken crash (he was with her) and he blames himself.



    The hunted girl was caught by the hunters and had to make a choice. A difficult one that not many would agree with. It was a short story though so not so hard.

    The abused woman had many glitches in her thinking due to abuse, but she became more than that. Even when left for dead, she was still a survivor. It didn't make it harder to resolve, to me, since it was such a large part of her. Whichever way she went, it was her reality.

    I didn't really resolve the drunken one, it was more of a paranormal thing, and quite short. The point of it wasn't to resolve it.

    And lots more, actually. I tend to write dark. I guess I'm a dark person, lol.
     
  10. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    my characters suffered some gun shot injuries, and other combat related injuries. one is a widower for their back story too. overall so far i have not had anything to nasty happen to them they dont bounce back from

    as for doing to others its a little worse. I had two characters torture someone and enjoy it in a flash back. to a large extent it was a bonding moment that helped explain their closeness.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  11. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    In one WIP I have a character whom I've used as a tool to show some of the horrors that go on behind the scenes in the sex industry and to portray the despair and torment the victims of human trafficking have to endure.
    She was sexually abused as a child with the consent of her parents -> she ran away from the family / community -> ended up alone in a hostile environment without a social security net -> starvation and other needs drove her to prostitution -> to cope with the hardships, she resorted to drug abuse -> these experiences along with hard drugs helped develop mental problems such as depression and anxiety attacks that worsened an already existing borderline personality disorder and a bunch of other psychological problems -> she ends up in the closed ward of a psychiatric hospital where she meets the person to become her first and only true friend -> they leave the hospital and end up back on the streets where drugs and prostitution enter the picture again -> they are hired as prostitutes to a party with a promise of free drugs and influential / rich company -> one of the richest / most influential men in their society is a sadist who essentially tortures her best friend to death and puts the character to a hospital, facing a dialysis machine -> she ends up back in the psychiatric hospital -> the treatments don't work and she eventually commits suicide in the hospital, leaving behind nobody to truly miss her.


    A psychopath with a morbid fascination with death becomes an assassin / mercenary. Over the course of the story, she uses humans as target practice, poisons a few marks with cyanide, tears out a man's eye (albeit in self-defense, for once), kills one person by hacking / slicing the throat until the blade meets the spine, kills another by breaking the skull, and yet another by shoving them into a room with lethal levels of radiation... that about covers the different methods.


    Well, the rest of the main cast were afraid of this character, but had to tolerate her presence because she was one of the people hired for their protection on their long journey through a fairly unforgiving environment where they would have otherwise ended up dead themselves. After witnessing a few of her more gruesome deeds, the characters lose what little trust towards her they had grown to feel after the times she had saved their lives.
     
  12. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Zairain is probably my darkest character, being grandson to Lucifer....
     
  13. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I wrote a southern gothic short story that involved a child murder and cannibal.
     
  14. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    My main character used to be immortal and wanted to die more than anything. He began counting the days by slashing tallies in his arm.

    Of course this was change didn't stick, a bit too hard to keep consistent.
     
  15. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    And recently I finished up a gothic horror story. That involved the brutal killing of a mother and child.
     
  16. Oswiecenie
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    Oswiecenie Active Member

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    MC no.1 of the story I'm working on at the moment escapes a burning building by jumping in a nearby river, only to be dragged under by the current and drown. I did my best to describe the scene in every horrific detail. I always considered drowning to be the worst way to die.

    MCs no.2 and 3 are two adolescents recruited as child soldiers. One fine day, MC no.2 sends no.3 across a field rigged with explosives as part of a dare. No. 3 survives but is severely crippled.

    No. 2 is stricken with guilt while no. 3 is eager to take revenge on his former friend.
     
  17. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    It is if you know how to swim. Then it's just so so bad.
     
  18. Acanthophis
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    Acanthophis ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Contributor

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    Originally I was going to have my MC at a family reunion which would get bombed, he'd see the flailing limbs and death of his family all around him (save the 'lucky' few who would live). You don't really need a descriptor of how much damage and darkness would befall a person who witnessed that. I decided against it though, as now he doesn't have much family to begin with, so there is no point in bringing them all together.
     
  19. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    Darkest? Well I think it might be the famed assassin of my book, called The Flayer. You get what he does, but he does some pretty grotesque things, as sawing up a womans stomach when she is pregnant. (We don't get to see the particular scene but the afterscene is shown) but yeah, The Flayer is pretty fucked up in the head.
     
  20. HarleyQ.
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    HarleyQ. Just a Little Pit Bull (female)

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    Most of my MCs are dark. I'm a dark person and can't seem to write anyone 'happy' (terrible, I know).

    I gave my MC of my first novel so much trauma she started showing signs of serious PTSD in the writing without me consciously choosing to do so; I've made an MC who has to raise her sisters because her mom's given up, and she also has bipolar type 1.

    Made former MC be tortured and held at gunpoint for over 24 hours.

    The conflicts actually are only half resolved at the end, and even that progress was extremely hard to get. That's why there will be more sequels, because her story is too much for one book.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  21. Wild Knight
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    Wild Knight Active Member

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    Well, I feel lame, but I'd have to say that one of THE darkest things I had ever had done in a story was... well, I won't divulge details, but it involves a false imprisonment for a whole year, and the character despising his captor the entire time, but there is Stockholm syndrome, PTSD whenever he's touched, and he had come close to killing the best friend who had saved him multiple times.

    I felt so horrible about it at all, as there was so much more happening in that storyline than what I'm talking about... that it's been two years since I have last worked on it.

    Contrastingly, I am now working on a "lighter" remake story, but even that story has had some dark moments when I was working on it as a teenager... like children being trapped in a fun house, and subsequently slaughtered by a beast that I STILL don't know about to this day (I was making it all up as I went along, so I didn't plan ahead of time what this creature was)... and the one of the two survivors had had her face shredded, and her back broken before the beast was subdued. I don't even know if it was realistic for her to have recovered her ability to walk by the time she grew up... but her face is horribly scarred, and I had somehow realistically given her PTSD.

    I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the one who's disturbed.
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A few years ago, I created a real sociopath af a character for one of the RPGs here, and later used him in a short story. He wouldn't kill for no reason, but just being in the way of his goal would be reason enough. I had a followup story about his childhood half planned in which he had murdered his own sister, but eventually just shelved it.
     
  23. Dresden260
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    Dresden260 Corrupt Diplomat

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    One of my side characters is involved in a 10 page section involving the torture and killing of a 15 year old kid. I'm not proud of writing it but it is a part of my story so I hope people can understand it's fiction.
     
  24. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've written a couple who so misunderstood each other that it drove the husband to commit suicide and the wife to die as a consequence of her alcohol abuse. But I don't think I did that to them. I think they did that to themselves. In fact, the wife kept me up all night one night until I agreed to tell her side of the story.
     
  25. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Right now I have a Priest named Vance who 'saves' Reavers (meta-humans) by drowning them in a holy bath. He convinces my MC's ex-girlfriend it's a good idea to get her daughter (who was born of a meta-human father) baptized. Oh boy.
     

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