1. CrazyRandomHappenstance
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    CrazyRandomHappenstance New Member

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    Degrading Morals

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by CrazyRandomHappenstance, May 10, 2014.

    In my current WIP, I have one character whose character development, for a large part, consists of the degradation of his morals. However, I still have another character who needs to be building a friendship-connection with him at the same time. She is a thoroughly good character though, while he obviously...isn't. Suggestions for how to make this work?
     
  2. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    WIP?

    Anyway, you could look to history for rough customers who had gentle friends.
     
  3. CrazyRandomHappenstance
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    CrazyRandomHappenstance New Member

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    Work in progress
     
  4. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Is that a common abbreviation that people use all around the world or is it specific to this site?
     
  5. CrazyRandomHappenstance
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    CrazyRandomHappenstance New Member

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    I don't know how common it is, but I have seen it in a fair amount of places around the web.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    What kind of morals? Or, to be more specific, is his misbehavior victimless or does he have victims? I could see a good character being friends with someone who does things that they would never do, if those things don't hurt anyone.
     
  7. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    Perhaps she believes she can help him, or perhaps she needs him, in any case she's gonna need a stronger reason the further his morals degrade. This could open up some interesting angles for you to approach this from, obviously the pair will be in conflict with each other but she's also gonna be internally conflicted. As long as you can make it believable that this character would be friends with the guy then it should prove to be an interesting story.

    Is this a romantic relationship? Without stereotyping, it is actually quite common for women to try and change men. I saw it on the TV show QI - there was one country that had researched it and found quite an alarming number of women would marry people just let out of prison, and often suffered quite tragically for it. Love is as blind as a bat, and going deaf in one ear as well.
     
  8. CrazyRandomHappenstance
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    CrazyRandomHappenstance New Member

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    Basically he gets his priorities twisted up, and stops caring who gets hurt as long as he gets his mission done. He doesn't have any specific victims, but...
     
  9. desert rat
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    I think HelloThere hit the nail on the head. You need to define the relationship (romantic? obligation? family?) to build it. A single child (the girl) who always craved a sibling to look after and the boy fits that bill? She would feel drawn to him until his morals degraded too far. The boys parents saved the girl from a bad situation in the past and this is her attempt for paying them back? There are all sorts of reasons a "good" person would help a "declining" one. But if he is going to drag her deep into a pit of depravity that bond has to be tight, if it is only a slip or loosening of morals less so. I think the important things to ask yourself (and tell us if you are looking for more in-depth suggestion) is (1) how bad is bad? (and of course this is context specific - a cheating husband can be as bad as a murderer if you are the spouse), and (2) what tupe of relationship do you want between the two characters in the past (that defines their relationship in the now).

    Hope this helps....
     
  10. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my writing, a character whose morals crumble had a massive loss of faith. He originally thought that the invaders of his world were Lieutenants of Lucifer but when he learned that they were Necromancers, his faith crumbled. And with it, his morals.
     
  11. J.C.O. Goss
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    J.C.O. Goss New Member

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    He could hide the degradation of his morals from her, put on a front and pretend to be a nice guy. I mean, lying certainly can't be that far past him. Or just have her befriend him before his priorities are twisted, and she sticks around because she has faith in who he once was, or is somehow blinded to the change in him, or in denial.
     
  12. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a similar situation where my protagonist is thoroughly good but surrounded by people with degraded morality constructs. What I've been working on is "roughing up" the good character by focusing on the effects that her situation has on her own mind. In the end, she does withstand the situation, but not before the stress almost forces her to quit. So focus on the fact that your degraded character WILL have an effect on your good character. Interaction with him WILL cause her both temptation and anxiety - tearing at the fabric of her own moral fiber and causing her to seriously question her own values. In the end she will still be good, but she will be effected.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    do you really mean 'degrading/degradation' [humiliating] or do you mean the 'degeneration' or 'deterioration' [lowering] of his morals?
     
  14. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    W/out getting too deeply into the whole world of Lucifers and Necromancers - it sounds as if you are saying your character becomes morally(?) unhinged after learning that his lifelong fight has been with the wrong enemy. So either he doesn't trust anyone anymore because his whole life has been a lie - or just becomes so disillusioned he just doesn't care anymore (which sounds like what you're getting at). So the friend has to serve as a sort of moral compass, who obviously cares enough to stick by him and prevent him from going completely over to the dark side. Say she knows how to talk him into doing the right thing, but only because she knows how to convince him by making him see how his action will pay off to his advantage (e.g. convincing him to perform a heroic act by pointing out the reward potential).
     
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  15. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sort of. More like when the Necromancers invaded he deserted his post in the army. Now he's in command in another army and to keep his desertion from his superiors he kills the only one who knows the truth.
     
  16. Pandemonia
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    OK so now you have to make the reader why he deserted his first post and joined up with another army (allied or opposing?). What triggers this action?
     
  17. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    If he didn't desert the enemy would have overwhelmed the army base he was at and he would have been killed. The invading force swept over the continent and he joins a new army fighting the invaders and drive them from the timeline. Extra info: both the new army and the invaders are from different timelines than the character.
     

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