1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Deep, Sympathetic, and Scary?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Killer300, Nov 28, 2011.

    I'm stuck with a bizarre conundrum. Basically, trying to make a character deep, sympathetic, and also, scary. Now, it seems the rule with scary is the less one knows, the better, but the first two require us to know a lot more about the character.

    So, is it possible to do all three? Good examples of characters that do all three? The key here is not only deep, but sympathetic too. Also, yes, terrifying.
     
  2. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    I think you could pull it off.


    Perhaps he could come across as deep if he/someone else revealed a traumatic experience (Wife raped infront of him, village slaughtered etc)

    For sympathetic you could make him have a connection with another character causing him to love/care greatley about him/her?

    For scary you could make him powerful in someway and merciless to those who cross him?

    Some examples:

    Grunt (Mass effect)

    Sandor Clegane (The song of ice and fire/ Game of Thrones) <---- Best example

    Maze (Fable)

    Catelyn Stark ( Also Song of Ice and Fire )
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you don't know how to do something, it might be because it's rarely, if ever, done. You might be venturing into uncharted territory. This is a good thing! Find out how to write your character - CREATE how to write your character - then come back here and tell us!
     
  4. Prolixitasty
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    Prolixitasty Member

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    You're being far too specific without being specific enough. Define deep, sympathetic and scary. All these words can be understood in different ways and will be. This isn't as simple as finding ingredients for a recipe. There is no recipe. In fact, your authorship is measured by your ability to create a recipe and essentially feed it to a reader. Your character is your own, their emotions are your own. If your character is meant to be any of those things, your writing will reflect it. I suppose looking for mediums might help, but I assume that your story already contains possibilities. That being said, there is very little anyone here can do to help you with it. If you wrote a discription of your character stating that those three emotions were ones you wished him/her to possess then we might be able to assist you, and in my opinion, it's probably the best way. Let us assume that your story will write its own characters.
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    That is a real conundrum indeed.
    What do you mean by deep?
    I can understand sympathetic and scary.
    Maybe the way to look is to think in reality term.
    Have you actually met anyone who has all these three conflicting characteristics?
    If you have then that would be easy for you to pull off.
    If you haven't then you are going to find is slightley inconceivably difficult to project.
    Would the reader be able to figure out that you are trying to portray your character in this way is a qood question.
    I personally have not met anyone yet in real life that have all three and comes across as ''normal''.
    The closest I have come to meet or hear of such conflicting characteristics in one character was on TV.
    I first figured out that it was all made up for the TV and of course acted out but then the more I watched on TV the more I came to understand that it was actually not all made up.
    These characters I have watched were scary yes , but that's because they were in a way ''mad''.
    The sympathy they appear to display was random, meaning they were sympathetic for about 5 minutes then they became scary again in the sense that they displayed no sense of the sympathy they led us to believe they had at the beginning.
    So that in itself for me is scary.
    So you could link the scary and the sympathy together in the way I have watched or heard it.
    Deep is however going to be difficult toplace amongst the other two.
    If I understand the word ''DEEP'' itis someone who thinks too much or is too strict.
    If this correct then it simply won't pull off with the other two because deep shows someone who thinks and is consistant with his 'deepness'' if you like.
    Sympathy and Scary are inconistand and random.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sympathy is based on understanding and relation to someone, where as fear is based on the lack of the same. Having someone be sympathetic and scary is somewhat paradoxial. Why do you want this? Perhaps that's the question you need to ask -- and to yourself.

    As for deep, well...a character can be said to be deep when it's well rounded, believable and reflect problems in the human condition. This is really best achieved by getting to know your character really well -- there's no cookie cutter for depth -- were there, that'd be somewhat paradoxial, too.
     
  7. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first thing that struck me was Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the lambs. Not sure if I'd called him scary, but he sure is creepy.
     
  8. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, I was thinking of an abuser, who is scary in what she will do to a character, but is sympathetic and deep from why.
     
  9. FoxPaw
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    FoxPaw Senior Member

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    I don't really think "sympathetic" when I think of Hannibal. XD Awesome maybe, but not sympathetic. (His past is a big tragic, though.)

    However, when you brought up Hannibal, it made me think of that one TV show Dexter and its main character. I haven't seen a lot of the show at all (maybe bits and pieces of an episode from time to time), but I do remember him being tormented by his past and how he's sort of mentally ill. (I've always been fond of mentally ill characters that are deadly; they're always interesting to read in a story setting.) In response to the OP, maybe a character like that?
     
  10. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    if she is an abuser then that says she is scary but you cannot have sympathy out of abusing someone unless the abuse takes place then symapthy is put on as a show but really I do not think anyone who is abusive/scary is also deep and sympathetic as they are two very different feelings.
     
  11. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Star Trek's Q comes to mind.

    Write a character who speaks softly/vaguely and carries a very large and lethal stick.
     
  12. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Well, the abuser herself is sympathetic from WHY she does so, or is at least deep. Hmm, sympathy is the hard part.
     
  13. agentkirb
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    Isn't Liam Neeson's character from "Taken" kind of like that? Deep in the sense that you can understand why he is doing what he's doing. Sympathetic because he cares around his daughter. Scary in the sense that you didn't know what he was capable of and what he would do to accomplish his goal.

    You say Scary only works if you don't know much about them... but I think someone can be equally scary if you aren't sure how far someone will go to do what they do (torture, murder, etc) . And maybe as it turns out they really won't go that far, but at the time you don't know that.
     
  14. je33ie
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    je33ie Member

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    I love this quote Prolixitasty :cool:
     
  15. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Hmm, well, it looks like it's time for me to start cooking this character.:p

    But okay, it looks what I'm trying for may actually be quite a bit more unique than I thought.
     
  16. WriterDude
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    The Hannibal Lecter in the movies isn't a sympatethic guy, but he could be a great starting point to base your own characters on. I'm thinking about when he was sitting in the prison and talking to that woman. It wouldn't hurt to change his dialogue and make him seem nicer, would it?

    Dexter is a great, but he isn't exactly scary. ;) But if you combine Hannibal Lecter and Dexter into one character, it could be quite interesting. ;)
     
  17. ScreamsfromtheCrematory
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    Frankenstein's monster.

    /Discussion.
     
  18. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am obviously biased but this sounds like the exact description of one of the antagonists from one of my crime novels. He ultimately, IMO, is quite deep and even a little bit sympathetic (aside from the fact that he's whacking people like he's playing whack-a-mole), but I also think he's pretty terrifying because he's really just going to town on the kills. If he sees you, you're most likely dead and he's gonna move on from your bleeding corpse. xD I guess that may not be scary to some, but the characters he was killing were plenty scared. :p
     
  19. Devrokon
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    Devrokon Senior Member

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    What if you make your character deep and sympathetic, broad terms by the way, except for in one distinct area that makes them terrifying?

    Just a thought.
     
  20. Devlin Blake
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    Check out Dexter (The books) You know he's a serial killer, yet somehow, you route for him.

    Also Johan Liebert from Monster. He is scariest character you'll ever meet, yet somehow, you just can't hate him. You will be scared of him though. Johan is actually much scarier than Dexter. He's cold, calculating and doesn't give into impulses or urges. He's completely in control.
     

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